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VIDEO: Aaron Gilmore's final speech

Tuesday 14 May 2013 3:21 p.m.

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National MP Aaron Gilmore has given a teary final speech in Parliament, two days after he quit following a week-long backlash to his now infamous boozy dinner.

Mr Gilmore, who was ranked last on the list of National's 59 MPs, expressed disappointment that he will not be able to continue as an MP.

"Today, I'm not surrendering," he said. "I'm retreating [...] Today, I'm choosing to get out of the way. I'm looking for something new to do."

He admitted he'd made errors of judgement which had distracted the Government and stressed himself and his family.

Mr Gilmore conceded he behaved "badly" to staff at the Hanmer Springs hotel restaurant the night he asked a waiter "don't you know who I am?" and allegedly called him a dickhead, and threatened to have the Prime Minister's office sack him.

But he didn't make any parting shots at those who played a part in his downfall despite sending texts warning them of "utu", which is Maori for 'an eye for an eye'.

He spoke of experiencing the "five stages of grief" over the last week, sometimes all in one day: "Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance".

Mr Gilmore told the House at times, anger over the situation he has found himself in has caused him to "threaten utu" on his enemies.

"For those who tried to goad me into seeking retribution in this House today, I too seek your forgiveness.

"To those in the media who said I would dig in my heels and hang on in Parliament as long as I could, today I am not surrendering, I'm retreating. I'm sorry I did not meet your expectations," he said, looking up at the press gallery.

At the end of his speech, he paid homage to his wife before sitting down and crying.

"Finally, the one I love, babe I'm coming home."

The Hanmer Springs hotel incident was made public by one of Mr Gilmore's dinner guests, Christchurch lawyer Andrew Riches, who wrote a note to the restaurant apologising for the behaviour.

Mr Gilmore's second term in Parliament, which began in February, has lasted just 12 weeks.

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