Parliament's newest MPs have now finished giving their maiden speeches, talking about their upbringing, their mentors, and what they want to achieve in politics.
Read the extracts below and you may find the answers to the following questions:
1. Which MP's father was a ministerial chauffeur?
2. Which MP has worked at Harvard Medical School?
3. Which MP turned a chocolate products company into natural health manufacturing company?
4. Which MP is a mother of nine?
5. Which MP was a member of the British Parachute Regiment?
6. Which MP's father was once the only Pharmacist in Tonga?
7. Which MP wrote a book as a child about becoming President of the United States?
8. Which MP's father was once the chief parliamentary reporter for TVNZ?
9. Which MP was 10 when his mother died, leaving himself and eight sisters?
10. Which MP is descended from a Jamaican plantation slave?
11. Which MP's grandfather was head of the miners' union for 20 years?
(ANSWERS AT THE BOTTOM)
Dr Shane Reti
Based in Whangarei
In my student years, I would usually study during the day, and at night, commercial clean with dad, vacuuming floors, cleaning toilets, and dusting blinds. One year, I asked the administrator if I could sit, not five subjects but six subjects, like all my friends were. I remember the reply, "No Shane, you're a Maori boy, you'll do five."
My internal response was a call to arms "right, I will show you", and my external response was to win the English prize that year. No, not for me six subjects, I was still only allowed to sit five, but many years later, when I was promoted to Assistant Professor at Harvard, well, I think I'd made my point.
Mr Speaker I won, but many Maori don't.
And Mr Speaker, the educational aspirations of Maori must never ever be bounded by the preconceptions of others.
I have had three careers. My first career is as a doctor serving the people of Whangarei for 20 years. During this time, in my clinical hands, I was truly privileged to care for many good people, and I thank them for enriching my life. ...
My second career is in America where I worked for seven years until recently. I was selected as New Zealand Harkness Fellow to Harvard. My academic appointment was to Harvard Medical School. My operational appointment was to Beth Israel Deaconess, Boston.
It is in the Harvard environment, Sir, that I cut my international credentials and developed foreign affairs and trade expertise. In the scientific space of Harvard I found a fertile environment where any innovation, any new thinking that I wanted to dream, I could actually bring to life.
As an informatician, I worked with data, ciphers, and encryption, and became a Beacheads Middle East advisor, out of the Dubai consulate.
Mr Speaker, it was always my intention to bring the best of the Harvard environment home to New Zealand. I was always on loan from my people, I was always coming home, and I bring these learnings with me into the science, technology, and R&D space, and I proudly attest: "It is cool to be a geek."
My background is simple. I was born into a state house, the eldest of five children in a working class Maori family.
My parents believed that further education and hard work was the way to success. And yet, what further education meant wasn't exactly clear to them, because they had never experienced it themselves.
.. Times were tough for my grandparents. Every time Grandma was in labour, she would hop on the horse (no saddle - bare back), and ride down the hill, across the beach, and up the other valley to Aunty Polly who was the midwife. A journey of significant time and distance, with all 14 children.
But if the tide was in, Mr Speaker, it was down the hill, swim the horse, and up the other valley to Aunty Polly.
As soon as he got in from the farm, Granddad Tom would follow, on the horse, down the hill, across the beach, and up the valley, and then, when he got close to Aunty Polly's house, Aunty Polly would come out and say, "Tom, this is women's work, go home."
Mr Speaker, like many in the House today, my grandparents created endeavour through endurement, and success through sacrifice. This is also the story that I will tell.
Last job: Palmerston North mayor
Based in Palmerston North
I have lived a privileged life, not because we grew up rich. We didn't. A Presbyterian Minister's stipend and part-time radiography work didn't offer a great life of luxury.
I am privileged though, because I grew up with a family who loved me and ensured that I could follow whatever I chose to do. I also grew up in a period of New Zealand's history where my parents had confidence that as a five-year-old I was safe wandering around in fire breaks and bush behind Silverstream in the Hutt Valley with my friends.
It was also a time when as 10-year-olds we could sleep in tents or huts in the backyard in West Auckland and our parents could sleep soundly with the knowledge that we would be safe from harm. (Though to be fair I'm not sure they knew we would then run up and down the middle of Great North Road in the early hours of the morning.)
It was a different world to the one my children have grown up in, and while I don't want to be become one of those people who hankers for the "good old days," I don't want to give up hope of New Zealand once again being a place where children can grow up safely and with confidence that they have a future here.
I have to confess that I did not always make the most of the opportunities that were on offer to me. My first foray into tertiary study at Massey University was somewhat less than spectacular.
In two years I learned three things. How to play the guitar, where "the Fitz" was, and where everybody else who wasn't studying would be hanging out. If there was ever an argument against returning to free tertiary education with universal student allowances, my life in 1985 and '86 exemplifies it.
However, following a number of years of community based youth work I later returned and completed my Bachelor of Social Work with honours, where I learned that well directed effort can pay huge dividends.
It was during this period in my life I learned some other important lessons. I learned that raising a family on a limited income is incredibly challenging. I learned that having one child, with one on the way, having a mortgage to pay and having 47 cents in the bank is not a nice place to be.
I am grateful for having the support of family and friends and for having the skills required to negotiate that time and come out the other side. I also learned that having an education creates greater choices and offers more opportunities for work and for success.
Since attaining my degree I have worked as a care and protection social worker, in child and adolescent mental health, as a school guidance counsellor, and as a church worker. I have had the privilege and challenge of making the heart-breaking calls to remove children from their parents' care the week before Christmas, of sitting on the end of an A&E bed assessing the likelihood of a young person making a further attempt on their own life, and I have sat with families who are struggling to know what to try next to get themselves out of the pit of despair they have found themselves in.
All of these experiences have shaped me, and moulded my world view. I am continually amazed by the strength of the human spirit and I am challenged that whatever I may achieve in Parliament, together we must ensure that we build a society that improves outcomes for the people who live here, one that creates opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams."
My first dabble into politics was at college, where I was voted in by the students as the President of the Wellington College School Council. The position was up for grabs. The opportunity was there, and I took it. It was a simple decision. I gave it a go and I won.
Mr Speaker, I repetitively repeat and then say again, and again to my kids - make your opportunities and take them. Say yes before no, and then peddle hard, because I believe everyone has an obligation to have a go, to take opportunity and use their skills and experience to the best of their ability.
My view is that the Government's role is to provide a framework, which allows people to get on with their own lives, to be creative, and entrepreneurial, to innovate and invent, to build businesses, and employ others. To be prosperous. The government must let business get on with business. Only then will we have choices in the way we invest in our future, whether it is in our children's education or our parents' medical care. I believe in the collective wisdom of our communities, and that given the opportunities, our communities and individuals are able to build industry and add value where a government agency cannot. Individuals know how to spend, invest, and save. They know how to look after their family and how to create wealth. I believe that private enterprise, innovation, resourcefulness and adaptability within the community far outweigh anything a bureaucracy can achieve.
The result of all this will be a larger economic pie, and we must grow the pie so that we can all have a decent feed. Free trade agreements, promoting the New Zealand brand, and pitching our primary products to the increasing number of consumers who demand high quality, safe food will contribute to growing that economic pie.
The larger pie enables the government to help those that cannot help themselves, to support those that need a hand up. For me the welfare system, the safety net, must be bouncy one, like a trampoline, designed to bounce people back into the workforce and into the community, not a hammock that becomes comfortable, and once you're on it, it is difficult to get off.
Mr Speaker, I am an advocate for the taxpayer. The government is here to fund health and education programmes, welfare and security needs, and we must be accountable and always remember where that money comes from. Taxes are collected from those that get up each day, and go to work.
They are collected from people who every day, put on their gumboots, or their safety boots, their kitchen apron or their nurses uniform. These funds are earned by people who work 8 to 10-15 hours a day, to put food on their family's table. We must account to the taxpayer for the funds we spend on their behalf, to be prudent and responsible and demand value for every dollar, as if it was our own."
Based in Wellington
"For most of my school days, my mother, Carol, worked as a machinist at the Janzten Swimwear factory in Tawa. From her work there I learnt that income is determined by performance - my mother was paid on a bonus system that rewarded both the quality and quantity of her output.
In the late 1980s she came to work on this precinct, as an administrative assistant in the office of the Hon Stan Rodger. A junior role, but one of many which are so important to ensure the smooth running of Parliament and government.
My father, Alfred (Rocky) Hudson, had a longer association with this House. In fact this place is very much the reason that our family moved from Auckland to Wellington in 1972, when he transferred here to take up a role as a ministerial chauffer.
My father demonstrated not only the virtue of working hard to get ahead - 18 hours days were the norm - but also the importance of professional behaviour and discretion.
His discretion meant we didn't get to hear much of what went on in his job, but there was the odd story or two.
While he never sat in this House, my father recounted that he was mentioned in it. He told of a retiring Minister who mentioned in their valedictory speech that, "there are two ways to travel domestically - Air New Zealand and Air Hudson; both equally safe and reliable."
I would note an equal emphasis on safety in that comment. But reliability is important.
During that rarest of occurrences when Wellington Airport was closed due to inclement weather, a Minister had an important event to attend in Auckland with only scant minutes before a plane was to depart from Paraparaumu.
In a case of a ministerial driver doubling as an experimental physicist, my father showed that, with precise application of the right foot, time can indeed be made to fold back upon itself.
I would note, that Minister also made it to their event on time.
Mr Speaker, reflecting on my parents' lessons and their work in service of this House, gave me cause to consider the obligations upon those of us fortunate to be elected. That we should be expected to act in the public good to improve prosperity and conditions for our people is self-evident.
I found a cautionary note in the words of Edmund Burke, the eminent 18th century politician: "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."
A salutary reminder that we would do a greater disservice by doing nothing than by taking incremental steps in response to real world circumstances and limitations. Our people need pragmatism ahead of perfection."
List, Maori Party
Last job: school adviser with the Ministry of Education
Based in Masterton
Just a week ago I proudly stood in the House to swear allegiance to the Queen and my commitment to carrying out my duties as a member of parliament, but, I was not afforded the honour to do so to the founding unification document of our country. The very document that allowed the Queen to assert her sovereignty in this land. To the Treaty itself.
Surely if I come here from the Maori roll I come as a representative of the Maori voice, surely I take my place in this House as a representative of the Treaty partner and should be able to acknowledge the Treaty in the oath as a partner to the Crown.
I look forward to the day when I can pledge an oath to carry out my duties in accordance to the law and the Treaty of Waitangi. I also look forward to the day when they won't mean two different things.
In Wairarapa we know the pain of child mortality, and tragic death.
In 1992 our naive peace was shattered by the murders of seven of our whanau in the Judds Road massacre. The enduring picture I have of seven coffins laying on our marae atea surrounded by the mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers of our whanau is both bitter and sweet, sweet at the memory of the outpouring of love that followed. The other picture that will haunt me is that of one large open pit where all seven coffins were lowered into the open grave because seven graves side by side could not be dug with strength enough to hold up the walls of earth.
And as if this tragedy was not enough in the ten years that followed we lost the Sherman baby, the Aplin sisters Lillybing and Coral Burrows, and we, gathered here from Wairarapa, we are related to them all. When our children suffer in this way then I must stand up, when our young people chose to end their lives instead of live their reality, then I must stand, when our children cower in fear on the streets of this nation then I must stand, when our children sleep their nights in the backs of broken-down cars then I must stand.
I stand to give voice to those who have lost their voice and the song in their hearts. I stand to find a way to heal and restore love to our homes. I hold fast to a hymn of our church that sweetly reminds the listener, there is beauty all around, when there's love at home, there is joy in every sound, when there's love at home, peace and plenty here abide, smiling sweet on every side, time doth softly sweetly glide when there's love at home. The most important work we will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes, when we change what we do in our homes we will change society. That song is the song of Whanau Ora - the lyrics of which Tariana Turia has written into the hearts of every person who calls this land home.
List, Green Party
Last job: Sustainability consultant
Based in Wellington
I am proud..to be a Wellingtonian. I was born here in 1973. Surviving on only her teacher's salary, my mother, Cynthia Shaw, raised me and somehow saved enough money to send me to a private primary school. Scots College. Later I transferred to Wellington High School, where, occasionally, I even went to class.
My mother is here today, with my brilliant, beautiful wife Annabel. Annabel and I were married in January of 2013.
Six months later the right to marry the person you love was extended to same-sex couples. Couples like my mother and her partner of thirty years, Susanne, who helped raise me.
They're here along with many other members of my family. I thank them and acknowledge them all. My story is woven together with their stories.
I am forty-one years old. In just those forty-one years, fully half of all the planet's wildlife has been extinguished. Thousands of species have become extinct.
This is ecocide. The destruction not just of species, but of the habitats and life-support systems they need to survive.
We know that the cause of this carnage is economic but that the solution is political.
People pollute the atmosphere. They destroy rivers and species and ecosystems for the same reasons they used slave labour, or seized land belonging to people of a race they considered inferior.
Because they can. There's nothing stopping them. If people can maximise profits or reduce costs by polluting the environment they'll do so, because the market incentives that behaviour.
Now, I'm a huge fan of the market. When it comes to setting prices and allocating scarce resources it usually beats the alternatives hands down.
But the market isn't sentient. It isn't magical. It doesn't know that habitats are being eradicated or that species are being extinguished or that our climate is changing.
We need to tell the market that this is happening, and we can do it the same way we told the market we wouldn't tolerate slavery, or colonialism, or limits on suffrage.
Through the political system. We change the law.
Just as we believe that we have an inherent, fundamental and inalienable right to "life, liberty and security of person", we can eradicate ecocide by extending to Earth's other inhabitants the same legal protections that we enjoy.
Corporations already have legal personhood - why not actual living things?
There are already precedents for this in Aotearoa. Both Te Uruwera and the Whanganui River now have legal personhood. They have the right not to be polluted. The right not to be degraded. The right to exist, inherent, fundamental and inalienable. Just like us.
I enter Parliament as a member of our country's 'loyal opposition'. My role is, in part, to hold to account, to challenge and to speak truth to power.
But I am not committed to partisanship for its own sake. Political tribalism is, I believe, the single greatest barrier to creating enduring solutions to the great challenges of our time.
If any other member of this House from any political party - or any member of the public listening - hears this challenge and wants to rise to it, my door is open.
Tamaki Makaurau, Labour
Last job: Policy analyst
Based in Auckland
Let me preface my maiden speech with the words of Sir James Carroll in his valedictory made at the funeral of Sir William Herries, Minister of Native Affairs from 1912 to 1921: "As I survey this wondrous gathering, my mind is as a honeycomb, to which home a thousand honeyed memories." For it is 100 years ago, almost to the month, that my great-grandfather Taurekareka Henare entered this House upon the resignation of Sir Peter Buck, who enlisted to serve as a medical officer for the New Zealand Battalion, more commonly known as the Pioneer Battalion. E te Mangai o te Whare, tena koe. Sir Peter Buck served with distinction at Gallipoli, and at this point can I acknowledge the centenary of the Great War-lest we forget....
I move on to my late grandfather Sir James Henare, who after returning from the Second World War stood for the National Party three times in the Northern Maori electorate. The last time he stood was in the by-election of 1963 when he was defeated by his nephew the Hon Matiu Rata, who won the Northern Maori seat with the majority of 412 votes, which I am sure you are aware of, Mr Assistant Speaker. This was the closest that the National Party ever came to winning a Maori seat and long may that tradition continue.
Growing up, my generation had the right of a backyard, which gave us the opportunity to not only test our rugby skills but also our mothers' patience. This right, I fear, could be lost for the generations to come. Housing is no longer about people but about profit. The backyard playground is now reserved only for land developers and property speculators. This, I believe, is to the detriment of the communities in Tamaki Makaurau.
Although poverty, it is said, is relative, it has to be accepted that it is endemic amongst many Maori and Pacific families in Tamaki Makaurau. Its causes are many and varied, and there is no one fix. Some say if you provide employment, good housing, good health, and educational opportunity, the issue will simply go away, so I look forward to a bipartisan approach based not on political ideology-or, for that matter, more money-but a pragmatic approach that sees instruments of the all-powerful State engaging with these communities.
Bay of Plenty, National
Last job: Group director of Co-operatives Affairs at Fonterra
Based in Te Puna
My thanks to those who have backed me throughout my career, often affording me opportunities that my experience did not justify.
In particular, I would like to thank the Rt Hon Jim Bolger who plucked me from party obscurity to be his executive assistant throughout his second term, a role that took me across the country to engage with the diverse families and communities that make up this extraordinary place.
I want to acknowledge the unnamed salesman who convinced my parents to use their savings, such as they were, to buy the latest World Book encyclopedias in 1978.
I devoured those books, in particular the sections on American presidents. It fired my imagination to such an extent that I saw myself as a future US President (constitutional challenges not withstanding).
I even wrote a book as a 10-year-old that saw me elected vice-president of the United States as a very young man in my twenties, become president upon the very unfortunate death of the then president, and then go on to serve 13 consecutive terms until I think I died of old age. My Mum still has the story hidden away in our attic. I suspect its best to remain there.
I believe our country will forever be defined by the land and its influence on the people.
Its abundance sustains families and communities, its physical beauty almost mythical in its scale and power, drives our collective creativity, and inspires our innovation. A forever changing landscape, with brooding intensity and an energy that's palpable.
Aotearoa gets under our skin. And the longer we have been here, the more intrinsic the connection to the land becomes.
Our tangata whenua have specific words that speak to the power of this place.
But you can see it in the 6th generation farmers who express kaitiakitanga in different words but showcase it on their farms.
You can see it play out in those who seek to protect it from others who wish to come and make a life here.
You can see it in those who wish to tame it, or in those who wish it forever locked in yesterday's memories.
You can see it in our new migrants that shed tears when sharing the impact of moving here.
The power of this place is real and it affords us as a people huge privileges and responsibilities.
We need to be careful that our innate and subconscious awe of our environment does not blind us from the opportunities that present us.
Let's use our natural resources to their fullest potential.
I am not advocating plundering New Zealand with 19th century tools and ideas, I speak of alloying the world's best technologies and innovations to some of the greatest natural resources and talent in the world, for the betterment of our people.
The capacity of this country to imagine this future, one that leverages our natural resources with our people and for our people, in a way that acknowledges our genuine respect of place and space is one of the defining challenges of this generation.
Last job: Director, accountant
Based in Franklin
My identical twin brother, Paul, and I were the youngest of six boys. Our life on the farm was mayhem, but great fun. People often say - your poor mother with all those boys.
Here she is in the gallery today and she looks pretty good to me.
After graduating from University, I trained as an accountant and then spent 10 years working with merchant banks in New Zealand and in London.
It was the heady days of the 1990s. Our firm in England was listing a new company on the London Stock Exchange every week. We also managed some of the world's largest privatisations. Exciting times.
But, like many, we made a choice. Tina and I came home.
Since then we focused on managing our own businesses. We have been doing that for the past 18 years. Some successful, some less so. But the experience has been invaluable.
Managing a business is a challenge. It's about strategy. It's about products and services and meeting changing needs. It's about dealing with people. But, most of all, it is about perseverance. I want to acknowledge today all the hard working business owners who spend countless hours thinking and worrying about their own companies and how they are going to pay the wages next week.
They say you can take the boy out of the farm, but not the farm out of the boy. Having a sedentary job, I've always turned to the outdoors. I was a territorial officer in the NZ Army and then the British Parachute Regiment. When I was in my 20s it was exciting to jump out of a C130 Hercules at 800 feet. Nowadays, I got to tell you, you would have to push me out!
It is not until you have commanded a squadron of Leopard tanks in the desert, or seen an A10 Warthog aircraft in action, or felt the reverberation of a grenade going off, can you start to appreciate the skill and dedication of our armed forces, both current and those who have gone before us.
There is nothing more resourceful and tough as a NZ soldier. It is no wonder they are in demand by our allies around the world.
Another key area of interest is environmental management. When it comes to these matters, talk is cheap.
My credentials are that I established a composting and recycling business processing over 40,000 tonnes of material each year into beneficial products for horticulturists and farmers.
I have also worked with a number of clean energy companies and wonder why New Zealand isn't a world leader in electric car usage, smart home energy systems and harnessing excess electricity for hydrogen generation.
I stand alongside so many New Zealanders who believe the environment is precious and must continue to be protected.
It is an honour and a privilege to be part of this new community here in Parliament, representing the people of Hunua.
I have never dodged a challenge. I'm not afraid of adversity. I value open and robust debate.
But I cannot and will not abide intolerance, prejudice and injustice.
I intend to follow these principles here in Parliament.
Dr Parmjeet Parmar
Last job: Running health products business
Based in Auckland
Earlier this year I was chosen by the party as the candidate for the Mt Roskill electorate, and I am extremely proud to have repaid their faith in me by winning the critical party vote in Mt Roskill.
Just under half of the people in Mt Roskill in 2013 were born overseas, and I am one of them.
I was born in India, one of four sisters to very hard working parents.
My father, Sham Jaswal - is now retired after proudly serving in the Indian Air Force for 38 years. As you would expect, our home environment mirrored the morals, virtues and also the discipline of the armed forces. Actually, I am grateful to my dad for that....
I left school wanting to become a scientist to find cures for deadly diseases so I completed a BSc chemistry and MSc from the University of Poona, India.
But then, as is traditional in my culture, I married Ravinder in an arranged marriage, and came to this amazing country to join him and start a new life with him in New Zealand.
On arriving here in 1995 and settling into life in Auckland, I wanted to continue my education at the University of Auckland.
To be technical for a minute, for my PhD I investigated a possible role for neuroserpin in neurite outgrowth by its over-and under-expression in two types of cell lines.
Simplified, my work looked at if it was possible to use it to re-establish connections in the brain.
After spending some time in the scientific commercial sector I decided to use my skills to move into business and joined my husband to start up natural health products manufacturing within our existing facility that was being run by Ravinder to make confectionery and chocolate products.
Monday to Friday I was a scientist and then later a business woman, and in the weekends I worked as a broadcaster for 16 years on an Indian radio station in Auckland plus of course my role on the Families Commission and the Film and Video Labelling Body.
Somehow I managed to fit in raising our two boys, and putting in more than a decade working in the community especially in the field of domestic violence.
During my time in this hallowed precinct, I am eager to make a positive difference in a number of areas.
We need to supercharge the activation of the amazing research that is currently underway in New Zealand institutions, and apply it to our businesses, our industries and our products. I believe there are huge potential advantages just waiting for New Zealand to seize them.
I am passionate about enabling and encouraging business.
As an advocate for gender equality I also believe in merit. I am a proud member of a party, and a caucus, that does not believe in a quota system for women. I am here purely on merit and I would not have it any other way. I think many other Kiwi women feel this way.
Equally, while I am proud of my Indian heritage, NZ is the only place I call home. I do not consider myself as just an ethnic MP. I consider myself to be an MP who brings many perspectives and experiences along with my ethnicity, which I will apply to the serious and important work of an MP in this House.
Last job: Beehive adviser
Based in Wellington
I come to this House as a 31-year-old - a representative of generation Y. Our generation doesn't remember needing a doctor's prescription to buy margarine, or permission from the Reserve Bank to subscribe to a foreign magazine, or any of the other absurdities of the Fortress New Zealand economy. It seems scarcely believable to us that from 1982 to 1984 all wages and prices were frozen by Prime Ministerial fiat.
For our generation, inflation has always been low. We've always been nuclear free, homosexuality has always been legal, and the Treaty Settlement process has always been underway.
New Zealand is a completely different country to what it was when I was born. I've always been profoundly fascinated by that transformation, and what its effects have been. For example, it intrigues me that while Bob Hawke and Paul Keating are regarded by the Labor movement in Australia as heroes, and receive standing ovations at Labor Party conferences still to this day, New Zealand's own Labour reformers are essentially pariahs from their party.
I think it a significant portion of the Left in New Zealand has never made its peace with the economic reforms of the 80s and early 90s. And in some ways the debate inside the Labour Party today is the most visible manifestation of that lack of reconciliation. The battles of the 1980s are still being fought. That's a shame......
I think individuals make better decisions about their own lives than governments do. A fundamental belief in the primacy of the individual over the collective should be the lodestar that guides all good governments. I think we should trust individuals more than we do, and be more sceptical about the ability of government to solve social problems.
I believe that the best way to deliver the prosperity New Zealanders deserve is through a globally competitive, market-based economy that rewards enterprise and innovation. The reforms of the 1980s and early 1990s were vitally important in transforming New Zealand from a sclerotic economic basket case to a modern, functioning, competitive economy, but there is more to be done.
I support a tolerant, multicultural New Zealand that is confident, proud, and open to the world. Our society is enriched greatly by migration. The periodic desire by some to scapegoat migrants I find deeply distasteful. I am proud of how New Zealand in only one generation has changed from an inward looking, insular economy and society, to one that is internationally connected and confident on the world stage.
I believe we can responsibly develop our natural resources, and improve our environment at the same time. We are blessed with abundant natural resources in New Zealand - both renewable and non-renewable - and we are not wealthy enough as a nation to not take advantage of them. What we know from history is that the wealthier a country is, the more able it is to take practical steps to improve the environment. Some of the most polluted places on earth were in the communist Soviet Union. Growing our economy through the responsible development of our resources gives us the ability to preserve things precious to New Zealand like our rivers, lakes, and national parks.
Taranaki King Country National
Last job: dairy farmer and director
Based in New Plymouth
I was brought up on a Taranaki dairy farm and I had one goal - never to marry a dairy farmer. Louis, I'm very pleased I did because I learned the ropes, developed a passion and enjoyed my time on the farm, raising our family and developing an award-winning business which continues today.
Volunteers connect our communities. From the Fire Service and Coast Guard, to those working in the prevention of family violence, I would like to thank all volunteers who do a wonderful job. Those who give up their time to take a neighbour to a doctor's appointment, or those busy mums and dads who arrange play dates for the entire street; your support and continual commitment to the groups and individuals in our region is to be commended. These actions take away the vulnerability of people, knowing there is a volunteer support base to care for them.
Water will be a prominent topic, not just through the time that I spend in Parliament, but for years into the future. This is reflective of the fact we have an abundance of water in our beautiful country, and it is amongst my aspirations to ensure that we utilise our water wisely for our people, for our tourism, and for our industries. As a dairy industry leader, I appreciate how much work has been done in fencing, nutrient budgeting, and finding ways to improve water quality.
It will be a pleasure to join my first BlueGreens Caucus meeting. National's Bluegreen's approach has shown that successful economic and environmental policy can, and must, go hand in hand. The abundant forests, rivers, and marine reserves are of real value and importance to the National Government, who are committed to long term sustainability of these areas that New Zealanders hold dear.
Last job: in Canadian Think Tank
Based in Auckland
You can tell everything you need to know about a person's politics by acquiring their sincere answer to a simple question: "Is wealth a zero-sum game or not?" Unfortunately, the sincere answer of many in this House would be no. They lay a litany of elaborate excuses and set about constructing an even more elaborate web of rules to reallocate finite wealth to the most deserving. In practice, the most deserving means those whose special pleadings resonate loudest in the theatre of politics.
My answer to the question is no. My fellow Epsom voters elected me if not in full support of my philosophy then certainly with knowledge of it...
Those of us who believe that are interested in a different question: under what conditions can individuals best create wealth?
The answer lies in the use of knowledge in society. Since the total inventory of that knowledge is never given in its totality to any single mind or small group of them, it must be grown and applied through a widespread process of conjecture and refutation. That is the creative power of a free society; the power to try new things and find what works. This power is greatest when the role of Government is not whatever the Government defines it to be, as one former Prime Minister put it, but when it is clearly defined to maximise individual freedom.
That definition relies heavily on an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of government as an institution.
Governments have extraordinary power to coerce legally. In some cases this power brings great goods, and chief among them is an environment where we can safely go about our business in our various communities. That, in turn, requires the rule of law rather than the arbitrary rule of man. We meet today at the pinnacle of several centuries of progress towards that goal.
We have moved towards the light of liberty by removing distinctions in law that once treated people differently depending on their religious conviction, their gender, or their race, and most recently this House decided to remove gender from the marriage laws. Many countries have never achieved that, but it is extraordinary that as if engaged in some form of historical shuttle run, we who were first to touch the cone are now rushing back to create new distinctions in law.
I refer to those who claim that the only way to achieve a material equality between the Maori side and the British side of my ancestry is to create more legal inequality. No doubt they have noble intentions, but public policy should be measured only by results.
List New Zealand First
Last job: Head of Business School, Waiariki Institute of Technology
Based in Rotorua
It was my mother and father who trained me to think, to question and to stand up and be counted. My mother Maria, father David and sister Stacey all passed away what seems like a life time ago, but, regrettably, it was all so recently. And so it is I can still picture my mum and dad sitting up there in the gallery. They would be beaming, so full of pride for their son. My sister would be shuffling in her seat, I can hear her voice even now. "Be careful, don't stuff it up...."
I am proud to say that I was born and raised in Rotorua. I grew up on the beaches of Maketu and Pukehina, Lake Rotorua and Tarawera, Waiteti stream, mostly the Blue lake, in the thermal baths in Ohinemutu, on the slopes of Tihi-o-Tonga...
For the commission opening of the house a bus of forty of my hapu, my whanau made the trek to Wellington from the Waiteti stream. It was a bus full of Ngati Ngararanui. We are a proud whanau.
Our family is representative of all New Zealanders. We are kids in school, in Catholic schools, in our Kura, we are mums and dads, we are teachers, we are lawyers, we are businessmen and women, we are even former sports stars, All Blacks and kiwi league players, the black sticks, international medal winning Bowls champions, NZ title holders in Boxing, we are represented in the current kiwi league team, sir one of my whanau is the most senior Maori policeman in NZ, one of us is even a Judge. What a family, I am so proud to have been born into this whanau...
I am committed to findings solutions to the many real issues everyday New Zealanders face. They include the need for more qualified teachers in front of smaller classrooms, the need for controls on immigration even it is only to help stop the property bubble bursting in Auckland. The need for more police on streets, let us create and encourage real investment with overseas interests, and encourage meaningful returns for all, rather than a wholesale sell off of our land and assets to non-New Zealanders. Going forward, we all need to be mindful of supporting the integration of three core pillars into our organisations; profit, yes, the planet absolutely, but most importantly people sir. Let us not forget the people.
List New Zealand First
Last job: Businessman and councillor
Based in Tauranga
I have always been passionate about politics but never had a personal political agenda, at least not up until 2013 when I became ever-increasingly frustrated and disappointed in decisions that were being made and the direction we were being led in Tauranga by our city council.
It was then that I realised that if you want something done, you had better be prepared to do it yourself, and as my father used to say: "Put up or shut up."
In the 2013 Tauranga City Council local body elections I was privileged to win the Mount Maunganui - Papamoa Ward councillor seat and got into local government...
The single largest debt we have on our city's balance sheet to date is the $63 million of debt associated with a nationally significant stretch of road, namely, Route K. This road brings traffic and products in from Auckland and the Waikato to New Zealand's largest and busiest port. This road of national significance is one of the reasons I am in Parliament today as I have been working hard, along with others, to get this debt off our city's balance sheet. Now that this has been achieved with the recent announcement of the New Zealand Transport Agency agreeing to take over the debt of Route K, I feel I must finish what has been started and get the tolls removed also.
I know that every person who stands here today and speaks for the first time-in fact, everybody who has ever made, or who will in the future make, their maiden speech-will, despite their different political allegiances, share similar or the same moral and ethical principle, which is to make a positive and everlasting difference. Alas, there are, and will be, those who fall short of their intended positive impact, lose sight of their moral compass, and end up being the people or the person they so avidly said they would not become. I stand here today, in front of the people who have known me the longest and who will know me for the rest of my life, and I pledge that I will stay the same person who I am today.
List New Zealand First
Last job: Biology teacher,
Based in Palmerston North
In everyone's life there are specific moments in time where we can identify a momentum shift, a sea change, a profoundly defining moment, and my life story is no different.
The first of those, and most monumental in my life, was when my father died on my 17th birthday. To compare him to a foundation of granite rock would not do him justice. Perhaps a titan of security, of discipline, of love, might come somewhere near close to half way there.
With that influence ripped from my life, my direction, my pride and my mana took a deft blow. I lost my way and I made mistakes. It was only through the support around me, through the means of luck and the influence of fear, that the path I took, the path I struggled through on my hands and bleeding knees allowed me to survive.
It allowed me to have a perspective of the importance of youth, the importance of guidance, of support, of decision making at that time in one's life, and the irreversible costs if we get it wrong.
That period in my life ignited a passion and drive in me to ensure the youth of our country are looked after. That they have a safe, secure future, and that they have a progressive future ahead of them. This comes not only through the obvious sound legislation, but most importantly through genuine care and ownership of the very real issues they face today. Therein lies my motivation. For being here in our House of Representatives...
My life has been in the service of others - from serving my country in the Army, serving youth in my community to serving our children in the classroom - and becoming an MP in the service of our country seems a natural step...
My path to this House, and to this seat, has been a roller coaster, a tumble dryer, a verifiable litany of opportunity and sacrifice. It has made me realise a few things, the most important of which is that sometimes our dreams aren't as far away from reality as one might think.
List New Zealand First
Last job: Corrections officer
Based in Auckland
I left my native India some 12 years ago looking for a better life for my family. I chose, of all the countries in the world, to settle here in this beautiful land full of opportunities and surrounded by a rich, multicultural diversity of people.
In my previous employment, you might say that I had a captive audience, somewhat like I do today. Yet, we all sought to be here, rather than be put here. It was our choice to run for office.
When looking for the right party to represent, I found that the New Zealand First party had similar ideas as me-similar ideas that most forward-thinking, industrious, hard-working, fair-minded, and supportive people have in this wonderland we call Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud.
I believe in fair play, hard work, and a just reward for all who seek to better their lives. I also believe that we, as a people of many races and ethnicities, have come to this place at this time to improve the lot of our families, our friends, new neighbours, and, indeed, all New Zealanders...
When my beautiful wife and mother of my children was killed in a car crash some 8 years ago, I could have given up on this country. Instead I embraced all the good that I experienced in that traumatic time and I chose to serve the people, all the people, who live in this remarkable Aotearoa...
I believe that many changes for the good of all can be achieved by all in this House working together. It can become a reality where there is no them and us; we and they. This place here can see amazing changes come to fruition that will continue to endorse New Zealand as one of the truly great places on the planet to reside and live in...
I thank my ancestors, particularly my grandmother who instilled in me to never look for a fight, but, if in one, then fight to win.
Te Tai Hauauru Labour
Last job: Business manager
Based at Whanganui
When I was 17, my dad told me that I would start work the following day. I didn't need to ask where I would be working. He was a second generation railway worker and I was fairly certain that I would be a third generation railway worker. Back then the railway unions were very strong, and I learned about and indeed experienced how the unions had gained better rights and conditions for their members. The last job that I had with railways was processing final pays, at the time that I started work for railways there were over 20,000 employees, when I left there were less than 5000. I believe that whilst it was necessary to make operations more efficient, I believe that people should have been treated with a lot more dignity. I vowed that if I was ever in position to do something about the protection of workers' rights, then I would do so...
I want to acknowledge Te Kura o Ratana, a school that was established in Ratana Pa 90 years ago. I was a board member and chair for 13 years. It was on that Board of Trustees that I learned so much about good governance. It also prepared me for other governance roles. For example, in 2002 I was given the responsibility and honour of leading my iwi, Ngati Apa. I'm immensely proud that our iwi was the first to negotiate a Cultural Revitalisation Redress Package, not because we were first, but because that is what our people wanted. I believe that through treaty settlements along with empowering policies, that we can work together to unlock the potential of Whanau, Hapu, Iwi and the community...
Today is a very special day in the Ratana calendar. Eighty years ago today saw the passing of Ratana's son Hamuera. Amongst our people, Hamuera is recognised as signifying the end of all evil practice. Can I recommend that today, Members, no matter what their faith, religion or value system, that they reflect upon all of the good things that our great country has to offer, during this time that we remember and mark the centennial of the outbreak of WWI.
Manukau East Labour
Last job: Advisor for tertiary education agency
Based in Manukau
I come to this House today as a proud New Zealander, as an Aucklander and South Aucklander. I come as an immigrant to this country from the Pacific and as a Tongan. The fact that a girl from Lotofoa, Ha'apai and Nuku'alofa, Tonga can be elected to the New Zealand Parliament says a great deal about the strength of our democracy. My family moved to Aotearoa New Zealand so I could complete my education when I was 16 years old.
My upbringing was always one that celebrated service. I grew up with a father who was for many years the only pharmacist in Tonga. If he didn't go to work, people couldn't get their medicines. I saw what a difference he made in people's lives and how much everyone gains when we honour others with our hard work. For my father who is 84 years old and who is here today, a life spent in service to others was the true hallmark of a Christian life. For my mother, as she went to work in a factory in South Auckland, then as a part-time cleaner in the evenings, her service to our family was from a mother's love, her commitment to her church and community.
Doing it hard in New Zealand used to mean living in a three bedroom brick and tile house on a quarter acre. Doing it hard in New Zealand now means living with your six children in a car or waiting for nearly a year on our most urgent housing list or living in a caravan or a garage.
I came from Tonga to New Zealand because of New Zealand's schools and universities. I have no doubts that a quality education is still the best way forward in New Zealand...
Seriously addressing child poverty, ensuring that the hundreds of thousands kiwi kids in poverty get out of it is the giant leap we need to make in education. It is one thing to give a speech about it, and declare child poverty a priority. But if we do not have a hard target, if we do not have genuine priorities that we publicly measure, these will all be so many empty words. We will talk the talk about child poverty, and the numbers will continue to grow. As they have. People can't eat a speech. People can't live in a promise, a consent or a plan. And a white paper doesn't fill a student's empty stomach. These past few months have reminded me, again, of how we are all tied to each other. The road to parliament is not one that can be travelled alone, nor should it be.
Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako
Last job: Businessman and director
Based in Christchurch
I come from a working class background. My father Te Here Maaka Momo Korako was a World War Two Returned Serviceman and a freezing worker and my Mum, Hine Elizabeth Manihera Korako a gentle and loving person, who passed away when I was only 10 years old leaving behind nine children, me and eight sisters.
It was not long before we found ourselves in Cholmondeley Children's Home, to give our father time to organise life without our mother. This sad event started a relationship with me and Cholmondeley Home that continues to this day. My father worked hard to keep us together and to ensure that we all understood and lived by our family values and instilled in me the significance of ancestry, leadership, education and humility.
He taught us to be proud of being who we were and the importance of being able to move seamlessly between the two worlds of the Maori and non-Maori...
The myth that National is simply there to look after the wealthy has been seriously challenged in this past election. Thousands upon thousands of voters abandoned their traditional roots to give their party vote to National because there was a greater accord with what they wanted in a government. Voters responded to the quality of leadership and have been drawn to a unified party that really did care and still does passionately, about what matters to New Zealanders.
I am sure that working New Zealanders have new expectations of themselves. New generations certainly understand that the state is not here to provide their every need. They genuinely believe that government is a partnership - us and them, and we each have to tow our own weight.
Labour may purport to represent the working New Zealander but a bevy of career bureaucrats does not reflect the aspirations of the young checkout person at the Ferrymead Countdown, or the Lyttelton wharfie, or the process worker in Bromley who all want to better their lives with jobs, fair pay, home ownership and the likes. Preaching working class from Ponsonby, really does fall upon deaf ears.
I reject the idea that National does not represent those Kiwis struggling for a better life for their families and their communities.
That is exactly what we do. That is why I am here.
Last job: Winegrower
Based in Blenheim
My father was a blade shearer, and still holds the record for shearing the most full wool merino wethers in a day at Mt Arrowsmith in the Ashburton Gorge. Dad worked his way into the farm through shearing, and taught my brothers and I that we could have anything in life we wanted, as long as we worked hard for it.
While I was privileged to grow up being able to ski, it was a privilege we had to work for. We had to earn enough money to pay for our day's skiing and weren't allowed to go until the work was done. This meant early mornings and hard labour.
Those values of working hard and reaping the rewards of your endeavours are very dear to me and align perfectly to those of the National Party. That is why I am so proud and privileged to stand here today as a National Member of Parliament...
Foreign investment has been a point of debate through the 2014 election campaign.
I would like to take this opportunity Mr Speaker to remind Members that without foreign investment the wine industry would not be where it is today.
Investment by foreign owned wine companies brought so much more than money to the table. They certainly brought much needed capital, but more importantly, they brought a route to international markets.
My journey into politics began in the wine industry. I got involved in the local Grape Growers Association and worked my way up onto the board of New Zealand Winegrowers, serving six years as chairman of the Board until I stood down in late 2012. During my time in the chair, wine exports grew from $600 million per annum to $1.1 billion. This rapid growth and change brought about many challenges, but ones that I enjoyed tackling.
Last job: Health manager,
Based in Christchurch
Nationally, and internationally, better mental health is important. We know as the number of elderly people in our community grows we will need to have better support in place for the expected numbers of elderly with dementia.
With children we know that developmentally early years are important and if a child does not receive the emotional support they need then this can be problematic.
For working age adults, mental health problems are one of the biggest cause of disability in the workplace and one of the biggest causes of loss of productivity for a business.
It is considered that poor mental health, such as depression, will be the biggest cause of disability in the world. All of us, will experience good and bad mental health over our lives, we are all in this together.
I travelled to London in the late 90s for my OE with a £100 in my back pocket. By the time I left over a decade later, not only had I built a rewarding healthcare career but I had also backpacked over 50 countries.
I am very fortunate that my wife Viktoria is supportive of my political ambitions. For Viktoria her politics is real life, she was born and grew up behind the Iron Curtain in Communist Hungary. She knows first-hand what it is like to live without the freedom and choice which we take for granted here in New Zealand, and the effects of poor economic management of the left are still visible in her homeland today.
Last job: Lawyer
Based in Invercargill
I am a proud mother of two pre-school children and while I am acutely aware of the juggling that I will have to do to ensure I do the job well but also to maintain that all important relationship with my family, I am not afraid to say that having children has changed my perspective for the better and driven me to contribute at this level.
It is very hard to articulate the change in perspective as a mum but it's a bit like going from watching black and white television to colour. Or for the Generation Y's out there, digital to HD. I intend to use this breadth of view and colour in my approach to policy making.
I am also the daughter of two police officers and by trade a solicitor, so law and order and justice is in my blood. I was raised with a strong ethic of "you reap what you sow".
The consequence of crime and the reality of it was in the forefront of my upbringing. My mother's first husband, Constable Donald Stokes, was brutally murdered at age 23 while in the line of duty in Dunedin in 1966. I was raised with his photos on the walls yet the tragic end of his life has been etched into my mind from a young age.
On 13 November 1990, death on the job was again a reality as my father received a call from HQ to advise that one of his best friends, Sergeant Stewart Guthrie, had been shot dead at Aramoana. I remember him methodically and soberly getting dressed in his uniform and walking out the door. The sum of the following 22 hours, with helicopters flying across the airspace of Dunedin and the general unknown, was not lost on anyone in Dunedin. However, it was obviously more pronounced for those with loved ones who were murdered or connected in some way.
The sacrifice of brave men and women who put themselves on the front line to defend our liberties and the way of life which we hold dear in New Zealand is never far from my thoughts. I take this country's security and our personal security very seriously and as such I promise to uphold it, making sure that the Police and other agencies have the resourcing and tools required to mitigate threats and reduce crime. At the same time, I want to assure equal access to justice and the rule of law. New Zealand as a safe and fair community is something to always be vigilant about.....
Last job: public relations
Based in Gore
While not growing up on a farm, I do come from a good Southland farming stock, and I hope to bring this down-to-earth approach to the House of Representatives.
Mr Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter, when I stand before you in this House, representing my view and the view of my people I do so with an appreciation of the true honour and responsibility that privilege brings. I do so with the intention of being a strong, fair-minded, and informed legislator.
Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, when I stand before you in your Caucus, representing my view and the view of my people I do so with an appreciation of the true honour and responsibility that privilege brings. I do so with the intention of being a strong, fair-minded and informed member of your Caucus.
The people of Clutha-Southland exemplify the best of New Zealand. Of course, I would say that! We are conservative yet innovative, astute yet modest, quiet yet ambitious, hardworking yet social. We are proud New Zealanders. Our values are straight forward, straight talking, uncomplicated in our views, accountable to our actions, solid in our beliefs.
My values are simple. They are based on personal responsibility, free enterprise, and choice. These are the values I will represent in our Parliament...
I am 24 years old. Like Marilyn Waring, Simon Upton, and Nick Smith once were - I am the youngest Member of this House.
People at my age are making choices that will affect them for the rest of their lives. They are marrying, buying houses, establishing career paths, and having children. It is important that when we are in this House we consider these people. I hope that I will provide a voice for my generation in this place....
Now's the time for me to stop talking and to start serving.
For as long as the people of Clutha-Southland will have me my time is their time - this is their time.
I am from them. I am them. And I am proud to be representing them!
1. Brett Hudon
2. Shane Reti
3. Dr Parmjeet Parmar
4. Marama Fox
5. Andrew Bayly
6. Jenny Salesa
7. Todd Muller
8. Chris Bishop
9. Nuk Korako
10. James Shaw
11. Clayton Mitchell