New Zealand MPs reveal their favourite summer destinations

Where New Zealand MPs will be spending their 2021 Christmas break.

Some readers would have perhaps preferred the headline 'What places to avoid if you don't want to see a politician this summer', but I'm no scrooge. It's been a tough year for everyone, even our MPs - whether you love them or loathe them. 

Over the summer months, as we take some time to relax, most of us will be seeing much less of even the most familiar faces from inside Parliament.

Our MPs deserve a break, too. Just as much as we might be tired of hearing from them, they are likely to be tired of making sure they stay "on message" every single day. MPs on Twitter are almost certainly sick of hearing from us.

So where do New Zealand's Members of Parliament choose to spend their summer break? Newshub Travel got in touch with our most well-known MPs to find out. 

Michael Wood's childhood memories from Rotorua

Where Michael Wood likes to spend Kiwi summer holidays.
Wood relives childhood memories in Rotorua.

"We love heading to Rotorua. I spent nearly every childhood school holiday visiting there as it's where my grandparents lived," Wood said.

"With its lakes, bubbling mud pools, tourism operations, and proud Māori culture and identity, it is such a unique place - and really easy to get to from Auckland.

"It's an old favourite of many people, and if you haven't been for a while I recommend a return visit!" 

Nicola Willis pines for the beach

Willis also appears to be keen on kiwi nostalgia with iceblocks and lolly mixtures.
Willis also appears to be keen on kiwi nostalgia with iceblocks and lolly mixtures.

"I love spending summer days at Riversdale Beach on the Wairarapa Coast - it's a simple low-key surf beach, dotted with Norfolk pines and classic Kiwi baches," Willis said.

"The centrepiece is a brilliant Surf Lifesaving Club that runs an awesome 'nippers' junior lifesaving programme that our kids take part in the mornings to kick-start the day. They then bodyboard and surf through the day and bike around the safe streets, making missions to the one shop for iceblocks and lolly mixtures.

"People go fishing and crayfishing, and the beach is often a Richard Scarry-type scene with tractors, side-by-sides and beach cricket games on the go. There's always a super friendly relaxed vibe. 

"The magic comes from some energetic community volunteers who put on great events over January, a market day, fish auction, triathlon, a big dig, and a nippers carnival. All things to look forward to. Little traditions that make it special."

David Seymour's bay dreams

Stock image of a man who is pretty thrilled with how 2021 went for him.
Stock image of a man who is pretty thrilled with how 2021 went for him.

"I like to go to a beach just south of the Bay of Islands where my family has been going for over 40 years. It is a quiet family beach with white sand and many happy memories," Seymour said.

Rino Tirikatene likes to head south

This area is home to some of the most unique landscapes in Aotearoa.
This area is home to some of the most unique landscapes in Aotearoa.

"My favourite summer destination has to be the Catlins. A region in Southland with numerous beautiful beaches, amazing bush walks and stunning scenery," he said. 

"If you're travelling south this summer make sure you add the Catlins to your itinerary. It truly has the Te Waipounamu 'wow factor'!"

Kiri Allan has  summer sorted

Polaroid blank photo.

"The best place to spend summer is, without a doubt, the East Coast. Why? Let me count the ways…paua pies, the best diving, the best music, the best people, and the best and most sunshine," she said.

The only place Luxon likes to flounder

Where Chris Luxon likes to spend Kiwi summer holidays.
Luxon's favourite place to go when he has time to take off for the weekend.

"One of my favourite places to spend summer in New Zealand is Duvauchelle Bay, on the road to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. When I was living overseas, I would head there with the family each and every year. It's a fantastic place that really comes to life over Christmas, with a beautiful beach - you can head out onto the water and catch some good flounder," Luxon said.

After some curious investigation, I found the name Duvauchelle comes from the surname of two brothers Jules-Augustin and Louis-Benjamin Duvauchelle who lived on the land working as part of "La Compagnie de Bordeaux et de Nantes pour la Colonisation de l'Île du Sud de la Nouvelle Zélande et ses Dépendances", a company started in France in 1839 to build a French settlement on Banks Peninsula. 

Simon Bridges is a Mount man


Where Simon Bridges likes to spend Kiwi summer holidays.
Bridges says "the fact of the matter is, The Mount is awesome."

"My favourite place to spend summer is Mount Maunganui. The reason for this is it's a beautiful white-sand beach and the waves are just right; not too big to do me damage like at Piha, but just enough to on a good day make things exciting," Bridges said.

"What's more, I like the fact that afterwards I have plenty of cafes and bars nearby to get a beer or coffee from depending on how I feel.

"I've been coming to the Mount since I was a kid. Its sand, its waves, its amenities make it the best."

Chloe Swarbrick is a sucker for Bethell's

Where Chloe Swarbrick likes to spend Kiwi summer holidays.
The Auckland MP is also a fan of Dunedin, Nelson and Christchurch.

"I love the cityscape and our special natural spaces. These past few summers I've spent time between Auckland's City Centre in its quieter moments and Te Henga (Bethell's), as well as exploring the likes of Christchurch, Dunedin, and Nelson," Swarbrick said.

Megan Woods likes to be by the water

Where Megan Woods likes to spend Kiwi summer holidays.
Woods always returns to parliament with a tale to tell.

"Kaikoura - close to home, but dear to my heart. It's where my family holidayed when I was a child. It's where I learnt to fish (off the wharf) and began my love of crayfish!"

Kelvin Davis likes to go bush 

Where Kelvin Davis likes to spend Kiwi summer holidays.
How's the serenity? So much serenity.

"My favourite place to spend summer is Kāretu Valley near Taumarere in the Bay of Islands," said Davis.

"Heading out into the bush is an absolute non-negotiable for me once Parliament finishes up for the year. It's the complete antithesis of my work life: calm, quiet, although you could argue the native birds squawk almost as loudly as some politicians.

"For me it's a few days of bliss with no cell reception, so the only real way to completely disconnect. Then after I've recharged the batteries there are the beautiful Bay of Island beaches to enjoy. Nothing beats it."

Ayesha Verrall's summer is on track

Where Ayesha Verrall likes to spend Kiwi summer holidays.
The only daily variant here is whether its going to rain or not.

"I'm from the south. I love being down in Fiordland. Me, my partner, my sister and her husband walked the Milford Track about six years ago and we just had the best time!" Verrall said.

"I also love Oreti Beach in Southland. It's south-facing, moody and isolated."

MPs from across the political spectrum were contacted to take part in this story. 

Where's your favourite place to take a break over summer? Let us know on the Newshub Travel Facebook group.