Maungakiekie MP Denise Lee's emotional maiden speech

As part of her maiden speech, National's Denise Lee spoke about how the death of her two-year-old son had become the driving force for her political career. 

That's when politics became personal for the new MP for Maungakiekie.

Ms Lee is no stranger to politics, as part of a political family and having been an Auckland Council city councillor.

But she used her maiden speech to emphasise the way high-level political decisions affect individual people. 

She used the personal tragedy of her son's death to illustrate this fact, speaking about how it showed her how political decisions affect everyday people's lives. 

"One night, I awoke as a young parent and decided to check on my two-year-old son Riley, only to discover he had died in his sleep," she said.

"What ensued was a series of random interactions with a cold-hearted function-driven system. The failure of police inquest officers, pathologists and coroners to sensitively inform and communicate their process to two shell-shocked parents still mystifies me today."

Ms Lee said her difficulties with the coronial process and its improvements since that led her to understand the impact of the MP's role.

"I'm subsequently relieved the coronial system has improved for people," she said. "The 2006 Coroners Act and later reviews better protect the interest of grieving families.

"Politics really did become personal for me then. A flick of the pen, wording of an amendment, an exchange in the debating chamber - parliament's processes affect everyday lives."


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