Surreal night for MPs

FROM HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT TO PARLIAMENT: Kiri Allan has vowed to honour the name of her Nana and others who cannot speak for themselves as a Labour list MP. She gave her maiden parliamentary speech this week. Picture supplied
Meka Whaitiri. File picture
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes
Julian Tilley
Anne Tolley

DOUBLE celebrations were in order for new Labour MP Kiri Allan last night as she welcomed her niece into the world and watched Winston Peters announce he would form a Government with Labour.

“It was very exciting,’’ she said.

“We had our iPhones out watching the press conferences as it all unfolded.”

Her niece, “a wee girl”, was born at 5.37pm.

Ms Allan, a list MP and Labour’s East Coast candidate, said “she was delighted that Jacinda Ardern would be New Zealand’s next Prime Minister in a Labour-led government”.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be a part of a Labour-led government that will prioritise regions like the East Coast and in particular in areas of important to our communities: health, housing and education.

“My focus is on the needs of our East Coast communities, and in particular decent jobs, regional growth and development.

“I’ll work hard as a member of this Government to deliver for Gisborne and our East Coast communities.”

Meka Whaitiri, who retained Ikaroa-Rawhiti for Labour, described last night’s coalition announcement as “a fantastic and just outcome”.

“Kiwis voted for change and I’m pleased to be part of a Jacinda Ardern/Labour-led Government.

“There is much to do and I’m keen to be part of that change.”

Green Party list MP and East Coast candidate Gareth Hughes was cooking dinner at home when Mr Peters made his announcement.

“It was a little surreal finding out watching the live screen in the kitchen,” he said.

He said he was “very proud of this historic moment” of the Greens being in government for the first time.

“It feels great to know we can deliver good policies for Kiwis after nine years of National.”

Mr Hughes said the party last night ratified its confidence and supply agreement, which will give it three Ministers outside Cabinet and one undersecretary.

“It was fantastic we could host a secure and democratic conference online with more than 150 delegates so quickly.”

Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens were focused and had an interest in delivering stable government.

“We have policies in common, for example, in restoring regional rail.

“The fact New Zealand First has entered into a governing relationship with us shows any bad blood is history.”

Mr Hughes offered his congratulations to Ms Ardern.

“We are looking forward to working with her to change the government together.

“We are focused on highlighting our solutions to the problems National has ignored; child poverty, homelessness, a failing health system, families struggling to get by, climate change and our rivers and lakes degrading.”

Mr Hughes said he wanted to acknowledge former Labour leader Andrew Little for his work “and the good relationship the Greens and Labour developed over his time”.

Asked for comment last night straight after the announcement by Winston Peters, New Zealand First East Coast candidate Julian Tilley stressed he was expressing a personal opinion.

“It’s a good example of democracy in action whereby a government will be formed by a coalition representative of over 50 percent of the party vote.

“A three-party coalition now replaces a four-party coalition New Zealand has had since 2008.

“MMP was the system voted for by the majority of voters. It is a system that guarantees that even though you might be the biggest in the playground, unless you have friends, you’ll end up just playing with yourself.

“The people have spoken. It’s democracy in action and I’m pleased to have played my part well,’’ said Mr Tilley.

East Coast MP Anne Tolley did not respond to a request for comment.

DOUBLE celebrations were in order for new Labour MP Kiri Allan last night as she welcomed her niece into the world and watched Winston Peters announce he would form a Government with Labour.

“It was very exciting,’’ she said.

“We had our iPhones out watching the press conferences as it all unfolded.”

Her niece, “a wee girl”, was born at 5.37pm.

Ms Allan, a list MP and Labour’s East Coast candidate, said “she was delighted that Jacinda Ardern would be New Zealand’s next Prime Minister in a Labour-led government”.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be a part of a Labour-led government that will prioritise regions like the East Coast and in particular in areas of important to our communities: health, housing and education.

“My focus is on the needs of our East Coast communities, and in particular decent jobs, regional growth and development.

“I’ll work hard as a member of this Government to deliver for Gisborne and our East Coast communities.”

Meka Whaitiri, who retained Ikaroa-Rawhiti for Labour, described last night’s coalition announcement as “a fantastic and just outcome”.

“Kiwis voted for change and I’m pleased to be part of a Jacinda Ardern/Labour-led Government.

“There is much to do and I’m keen to be part of that change.”

Green Party list MP and East Coast candidate Gareth Hughes was cooking dinner at home when Mr Peters made his announcement.

“It was a little surreal finding out watching the live screen in the kitchen,” he said.

He said he was “very proud of this historic moment” of the Greens being in government for the first time.

“It feels great to know we can deliver good policies for Kiwis after nine years of National.”

Mr Hughes said the party last night ratified its confidence and supply agreement, which will give it three Ministers outside Cabinet and one undersecretary.

“It was fantastic we could host a secure and democratic conference online with more than 150 delegates so quickly.”

Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens were focused and had an interest in delivering stable government.

“We have policies in common, for example, in restoring regional rail.

“The fact New Zealand First has entered into a governing relationship with us shows any bad blood is history.”

Mr Hughes offered his congratulations to Ms Ardern.

“We are looking forward to working with her to change the government together.

“We are focused on highlighting our solutions to the problems National has ignored; child poverty, homelessness, a failing health system, families struggling to get by, climate change and our rivers and lakes degrading.”

Mr Hughes said he wanted to acknowledge former Labour leader Andrew Little for his work “and the good relationship the Greens and Labour developed over his time”.

Asked for comment last night straight after the announcement by Winston Peters, New Zealand First East Coast candidate Julian Tilley stressed he was expressing a personal opinion.

“It’s a good example of democracy in action whereby a government will be formed by a coalition representative of over 50 percent of the party vote.

“A three-party coalition now replaces a four-party coalition New Zealand has had since 2008.

“MMP was the system voted for by the majority of voters. It is a system that guarantees that even though you might be the biggest in the playground, unless you have friends, you’ll end up just playing with yourself.

“The people have spoken. It’s democracy in action and I’m pleased to have played my part well,’’ said Mr Tilley.

East Coast MP Anne Tolley did not respond to a request for comment.

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Manu Caddie - 1 month ago
Perhaps the Motu Bridge project should now be left in its unfinished state as a grand monument and constant reminder to future politicians about the use and misuse of public funds. Let's hope the new government has more robust processes around decisions on public infrastructure spending.