What Parliament's first-term MPs want to achieve

  • 30/09/2017

Parliamentary newbies have been given the chance to explain how they'd tackle various difficult issues they'll face as MPs.

Labour's Kiri Allen, Chloe Swarbrick from the Greens and Chris Penk of National are all new to Parliament, and appeared on The Nation on Saturday morning.

Ms Allen, asked what she'd do if Labour had to give up the Māori seats to be in Government, said she'd never considered it because "we're not going to lose those Māori seats".

"Jacinda Ardern has said it's not on the table, I'm glad she's said that and I agree with her whole position heartedly."

Ms Swarbrick was questioned on how her new salary of $146,000 a year would affect her ability to buy a house, but admitted that she's not really had time to think about it. 

"I'm obviously in a really privileged position to be now in this tax bracket... in that same vein I think that we still have a lot of work to do in actually making the housing market affordable for everyday Kiwis."

Mr Penk, who's taken over Sir John Key's old seat of Helensville, was asked about his position on abortion. He said he would have to take any decision back to the "good people of Helensville" and look to a "scientific, evidence-based model". 

When pressed he did admit that he was uncomfortable with the idea of liberalising abortion law.

The MPs were also asked what they would like to submit as a Member's Bill.

Ms Allen said she would propose a Bill to disclose the regional benefits of free-trade agreements.

The Green Party selection process requires each candidate to propose a Member's Bill, and Ms Swarbrick's was to entrench commitment to the Housing First model, which she says will end homelessness in New Zealand.

Mr Penk did not have a Member's Bill planned, saying that while in Government his focus would be on first and foremost representing his electorate and taking part in select committees.