Senior National MP Steven Joyce has farewelled Parliament with an emotional speech that included jokes about office furniture, sex toys, and a nod to Eminem-esque music.

But he was moved to tears as spoke about the time he would now have to spend with his two children, Thomas and Amelia.

"Tommy doesn't say anything. Literally. He is what they call non-verbally autistic. He's eight years old. He doesn't have any vocabulary at all.

"But I know he likes having dad around. He tells me with his heart and with his eyes. And now he's going to have dad around some more."


Joyce was brought on as the 2005 campaign chair for the National Party, when Don Brash was leader.

The campaign was a "rollercoaster".

He recalled Tauranga candidate Bob Clarkson adjusting himself mid-interview, and Brash's response: "Eh ... I don't think any of my candidates should be adjusting their testicles on national television."

When he became an MP in 2008, he went straight to the fifth floor of the Beehive as a minister, where he was overwhelmed with the size of his office and all the furniture, including several chairs and a large table.

"I thought, 'This is ridiculous. There is absolutely no way one minister needs all this stuff.' And then I had my first officials' meeting."

He soon realised that officials immediately held another meeting in which they tried to decipher what the minister had said - a meeting he could take part in before he became more recognisable.

Joyce earned a reputation as National's "Minister for Everything", holding a range of senior portfolios including Transport, Economic Development, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, and Finance.

He said his proudest ministerial achievements included building the ultra-fast broadband network, completing the Waterview connection for $1.4 billion - $1 billion less than originally predicted - and setting up a regulatory system for New Zealand rockets to be sent into space.


He also dealt with the Novopay debacle, calling it a lesson for Governments on how not to set up ICT systems.

He recalled being at Waitangi in 2016 when he was hit in the face by a dildo, thrown by a protester Josie Butler.

"I was chatting away happily, and then I felt something hit my face. Whatever it was it then ricocheted onto the TVNZ reporter's chest, and then ricocheted down onto the ground."

Everyone then looked down to see the sex toy.

"I thought to myself, 'Well, what do you say in these situations?' So I said, 'Good-o.' And then I looked at my colleagues and said, 'Well, let's head off then'."

He said he then asked National MP Nathan Guy, under his breath, if he thought the cameras picked that up, and the reply was: "Yeah, I think so. Keep walking."

Joyce paid tribute to Sir John Key and Bill English, both of whom were on hand to hear the speech, saying Key had a "very powerful intellect" and was a great decision-maker, while English was the "quintessential compassionate conservative".

He alluded briefly to the copyright battle with Eminem, saying the campaigns he chaired included "a few soundtracks", and he was proud that the party's performance in the last four elections have been the highest percentage share of votes since MMP began.

Joyce announced his resignation last month following his failed bid to take over the party leadership. He thanked members of the public who have approached him and thanked him for his public service in the past few weeks.

"It's been very humbling. You are the reason I've been here, and the reason it's actually quite hard to leave."

He said his daughter Amelia once told teachers at her school that her father worked at the Beehive.

"She said, 'He does drawings, he drinks water, and he goes to the toilet,' which seems like a reasonable summary to me.

"But not anymore sweetheart, not anymore."