Retiring Labour MP Lianne Dalziel says she is leaving Parliament because the Canterbury Earthquakes changed her priorities and outlook on life.
After 23 years as an MP, Dalziel is leaving to contest the Christchurch mayoralty.
Dalziel said the world had changed for her after the quakes and she would not be leaving Parliament if they had not taken place.
“I have been on a journey of discovery for the past three years – since that wake-up call on 4th September 2010 at 4.35am,” Dalziel said.
“I am not the same person I was three years ago. My priorities have changed. This place no longer seems as relevant as it was even at the beginning of the year. But I will leave a final message to you all, please be kind to each other. I found last year very difficult as some of you know. Vigorous debates are an important feature of this place, but we are human, and although we come from different perspectives, we all come with a desire to make New Zealand a better place.”
Dalziel outlined the high and lows of her rollercoaster ride in politics which began with her election in 1990 with National’s landslide victory through to her years as a minister which was interrupted by a resignation due to making misleading statements over her involvement in a leak.
She was reinstated and resumed as a minister until Labour’s defeat in 2008.
After her speech, Parliament adjourned for dinner. It will resume this evening on the committee stage of the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill.
Earlier today the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill completed its first reading by 106 to 14 with the Greens and Mana opposed and was sent to the Justice and Electoral Committee for consideration.
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