Highlights of new MP maiden speeches (so far!)
At the 2020 General Election, the New Zealand public gave Labour a strong mandate to govern alone - the first Party to achieve this under the MMP system in New Zealand.
This mandate also meant the introduction of a huge number of new MPs - 23 in total!
Each new MP begins their Parliamentary career by delivering their maiden speech in the House debating chamber. So far, 13 have delivered their speeches, with 10 yet to go.
We’ve rounded up just a few of the highlights so far below. If you wish to watch a specific maiden speech or read a transcript, you can find it at Parliament TV On Demand, or by visiting the MP's Facebook page. And keep an eye out for more maiden speeches to come!
1. “The story of my journey is the story of every refugee displaced and forced from their home country and their loved ones. My vision is for my journey to give hope to the many other people with stories like mine.” - Ibrahim Omer
2. “I believe in a politics that empowers ordinary people to come together, to organise and build power in their communities, and, together, to shape our country and build a better life for themselves and their families. Labour has always been the political party that stands for that kind of progressive change, and I've seen the power of this change in four generations of my own family.” - Arena Williams
3. “Dad was my biggest supporter, and I dedicated my 2020 campaign to him and, in return, he promised he'd fight the cancer to be with me until election day. I last spoke to Dad the night before the election and I was able to tell him again, "I love you, Dad". Mum called me the next morning with the sad news that he had passed away in the night, but he had kept that promise.” - Shanan Halbert
4. “Now I'm here, moulded and shaped by quintessential Labour values, saved from falling through the cracks as a child, through the Labour policies of Michael Joseph Savage, Walter Nash, Norman Kirk and Helen Clark. At every difficult point in mine or my family's life, there's been a Labour Government that has been our safety net. I stand on the shoulders of those before me…” - Barbara Edmonds
5. “In a society as diverse as New Zealand, we shouldn't ever condone racism, but instead be able to let each culture adapt to New Zealand, so that it becomes a uniquely Kiwi version of that culture.” - Naisi Chen
6. “As an MP who is pregnant, I stand proud and very humble to be here but without fear of judgment and without regret. The fact I can do so is because I stand on the shoulders of the many, many parents who have worked so hard to be active parents and MPs. Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown what is possible. In this, as in so many things, her leadership is helping to transform Aotearoa.” - Camilla Belich
7. “2002 was my last year of chemotherapy. My hair grew back, the swellings throughout my body resolved after months of steroids, surgical wounds started to heal, and the following year I was able to attend Auckland medical school, then subsequently complete my specialty training in general practice, [and] serve as a South Auckland doctor for 12 years.” - Dr Anae Neru Leavasa
8. “Last term was a great start in reducing child poverty and inequality, tackling the housing crisis that we inherited from the previous National Government, and putting a real focus on climate change, but much more still needs to be done to ensure the wellbeing and living standards of all New Zealanders are raised. In my time in this House, I will be working tirelessly to progress this mahi.” - Terisa Ngobi
9. “The principles and values that attracted me to join our party more than 20 years ago are the same important ones that underpin the Labour Party today, those of equal access and opportunity, fairness, social justice, inclusiveness, and kindness.” - Tangi Utikere
10. “Where voices aren't represented at decision-making tables, we have an obligation to shake the tables. We must not only hear the loud and organised but fiercely listen for piercing silences and work to bring the marginalised and disempowered from the periphery to the centre.” - Vanushi Walters
11. “I'm not here to make bold promises; I'm here to work every single day to make sure we get the basics right, so that no family falls through the cracks again. We need to keep putting our people first, and that means keeping investing in our regions, making sure that no matter where you live, you have access to quality health services, that our tamariki and our rangatahi are getting a world-class education, and that all our people have healthy, affordable homes to live in.” - Steph Lewis
12. “When we treat each other with dignity and respect, we listen, and we truly see each other, thus we foster genuine connection. What I have witnessed in the last term of Government was the impact of applying that resolve.” - Helen White
13. "Our nation thrives when our farming communities are flourishing. It is for our rural communities that I stand. My understanding of the challenge of achieving climate justice is intensely local." - Angela Roberts
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