• Darroch Ball
• Age 36
• New Zealand First List MP based in Palmerston North since 2014
• Party spokesperson for police, corrections, justice, social services and youth affairs

Tell us a couple of things you like and a couple of things you don't like

"I like sushi, sushi's good. I like watching the Warriors. The Warriors are a big thing for me.

A pet hate of mine is slow drivers, terrible drivers. The ones where they brake before they indicate, it gets me going.


Give us one fun fact about yourself

I think one thing that people might not know about me is that I'm part Tongan. My grandmother was Tongan and she was born and raised in Fiji, and so was my mother.

What was your best speech about this year and why?

One of the most important topics that I spoke on recently was the Psychoactive Substances Act.

We've got a really big problem with that at the moment. We've got dozens of people dying and we're going to do something about that. I think we've got an important role to ensure that the judicial system is equipped with the tools that it needs to deal with the issues that we have with synthetic cannabis.

What issue would you like to see passed in a private member's bill?

I've had a number of member's bills put in and I've actually had one drawn recently which is the First Responders Bill. That gives extra judicial powers to our judges to allocate and give maximum sentences for anyone who assaults our first responders.

What were your political influences in your upbringing, if any?

I don't think I had any particular political influences. It wasn't until I was in my late 20s, early 30s, before I realised I actually wanted to be a politician.

If you could be fluent in a second language, what would it be?

I guess the only two I've ever thought of wanting to would be Te Reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language. The main reason for that is that they're both official languages of New Zealand but I think they would absolutely come in handy, especially in the role I'm doing at the moment.

What's your view on the personal use of cannabis?

I'm genuinely undecided. I think that one of the advantages that we're going to have coming up soon is a referendum on the matter.

What the referendum allows us is a thorough, detailed discussion about the pros and cons backed up by evidence, and people can make a decision based on that.

What do you think is the most pressing international issue?

One of the current topics is Brexit. It's not only the Brexit itself but the process by which it's going to happen and the effects it's going to have locally with the make-up of the British Parliament and the ripple effect from that that will have an effect on the rest of the world.

Have you had one teacher who's inspired you?

Yes I have. In my high school, Liston College in West Auckland. His name was Alan Lay. It was a combination of things. It was his passion for his job and that came across quite strongly. He was also quite quirky and the way he taught inspired me in many ways to become a secondary school teacher myself.

If you could take an MP out for dinner, who would it be, where would you take them and what would you talk about?

There are a few contenders, but I would say Judith Collins. The topic of conversation would be when, where and how she's going to let Simon down gently.

What are your plans for summer?

One of the things that I enjoy every single summer is just having a family meal. That usually involves going up to Auckland where most of my extended family are, and having a barbeque and putting the jandals on.