Veteran Labour MP Ross Robertson bowed out of national politics last night, but not before suggesting a unique remedy to stop MPs behaving badly in Parliament.
Having served as Assistant Speaker for four terms, he said behaviour in the House - along with the quality of debate - would improve if every MP had to chair Parliament, if only for a day.
"I have been privileged to hear some great speeches, but I have also listened to a lot of rubbish," the Manukau East MP said in his farewell speech - which brought the curtain down on his 27-year parliamentary career.
Noting that in the past 10 years two former MPs had gone to jail for things they had done while in Parliament and other MPs had been the subject of adverse reports about their use of allowances, Mr Robertson made yet another plea for the House to adopt an MPs' code of ethics.
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He said Parliament had legislated a code of conduct for local body politicians. "How arrogant of us to claim that we alone do not need a code of ethics."
Mr Robertson also called for the Official Information Act to apply to Parliament because the best protection against the misuse of privileges was transparency. He said he had seen many things during his near three decades as an MP which would not have happened had the act applied to MPs.
As one of Parliament's longest-serving MPs, Mr Robertson said he was occasionally asked what the secret was to survival in politics.
Noting he had been "standing in another queue the day they handed out charisma" he said he had built his political career on the maxim that "all politics is local".
He had got up at 6.30am every Saturday for 27 years to go to the Otara market, before travelling to sports grounds in his electorate. "If parents, players, coaches and referees can be there every Saturday rain or shine, then so can their MP." He would then go to a bowling club in his electorate in the afternoon before attending up to three electorate functions on Saturday nights. The result was "50,000 constituents become 50,00 friends".
Sunday was "God's day" and he devoted it to his family and his church.