Kevin Hague to take final political bow

Green MP Kevin Hague (file)
Green MP Kevin Hague (file)

Tuesday is the last day in Parliament for Green MP Kevin Hague, who will leave politics after eight years.

The third-ranked Greenie will give his valedictory speech in the debating chamber at around 5:30pm before a shindig at the Green Party headquarters at Bowen House.

He quit earlier this month after being shoulder-tapped to be the new chief executive of Forest and Bird.

Mr Hague says he has mixed feelings about leaving politics, especially without having the chance to be in Government.

"We're in politics because we believe in a vision, and so every day that takes us further away from that vision is one more blow. Eight years of daily blows is pretty tough."

He's held a raft of different portfolios over the years, his most recent being conservation, health and rainbow issues.

"Some of the things I've said I'd try and do actually it's worked out that way, and that's a satisfying feeling," says Mr Hague.

The health portfolio has been one of his most passionate, given his previous roles as director of the AIDS Foundation and chief executive of the West Coast DHB.

"[Former Health Minister] Tony Ryall and [incumbent] Jonathan Coleman have seen the portfolio very much in party political terms, so people like Annette King and I who have enormous experience in the health sector, they have preferred not to involve us," he says.

One of the low points in Mr Hague's political career was losing his bid to replace Russel Norman as co-leader to newcomer James Shaw.

He starts the new job in two weeks and his seat in Parliament will be replaced by Auckland-based Barry Coates, who is next on the party's list.