Thursday, August 10, 2017

Valedictory Statement - Annette King

As every Parliament draws to a close, departing Members of Parliament deliver their final speech, known as their Valedictory Statement. Today, long-time Labour MP Annette King delivered hers as she winds down her 33 year career. What an awesome ride it’s been!

Annette has been a Member of Parliament for longer than I’ve been in New Zealand, so she’s always been part of the political scene for me. Most recently, she was Deputy Labour Leader until she stood aside as she prepared to leave Parliament and Jacinda Ardern, now Labour Party Leader, was selected.

In this speech (video above, beginning around 2:35), Annette talks about some of the highlights of her long career, many of which were part of historic times. I’m most familiar with her work during the Helen Clark Labour Government of 1999-2008, and I always thought she did a good job.

If you watch to the end, you’ll notice how collegial the New Zealand Parliament can be, with MPs from all the parties in Parliament coming forward to give a hug and kiss to Annette, as visitors in the Public Gallery sing a waiata (song). If only Parliament could be like that every day.

Farewell, Annette, and thank you for your service to New Zealand. Over and out.

Update November 14, 2018: Dame Annette has been appointed New Zealand's High Commissioner (ambassador) to Australia.

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