New Zealand

Long-serving Christchurch MP Ruth Dyson outlines legacy in farewell speech

“Be bold, be brave, leave a legacy and go well,’’ MP Ruth Dyson said in her valedictory statement to Parliament.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

“Be bold, be brave, leave a legacy and go well,’’ MP Ruth Dyson said in her valedictory statement to Parliament.

Long-serving Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson ended her farewell speech to Parliament with a simple message.

“Be bold, be brave, leave a legacy and go well,’’ she said.

Dyson gave her maiden speech to Parliament in March 1994, which, as she pointed out in her valecdictory speech on Tuesday, was three months before the birth of Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick.

She said it was a privilege to serve Christchurch as an MP through wildfires, earthquakes, terror attacks and floods.

READ MORE:
* Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson to stand down at next election
* Labour MP Ruth Dyson 'error' led to wrongful spending accusation
* Politicians adjourn with recollections of a campaign that nobody expected

“Our lives in Canterbury have been very different since September 2010 … and in February 2011 our lives were turned upside down.”

Dyson gaver her maiden speech in March 1994.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Dyson gaver her maiden speech in March 1994.

She said that earthquake recovery powers granted after the 2011 earthquakes should have been more open and transparent, and allowed “the voice of our community to be heard”.

“[Instead] we were left with disempowerment and frustration that remains with many people today.”

She also criticised the proposal to close Redcliffs School and said it was a community triumph when it was reopened by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in June.

“That was the best day ever,’’ she said.

ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF

Christchurch Labour MP Ruth Dyson speaking after her re-election in 2017

The 2017 Port Hills fire and the March 15 terror attack stunned the city, she said.

“I have never witnessed before, and hope never to again, the raging power of wildfires.”

Dyson listed the achievements she felt would make up her legacy as MP, citing her involvement in the establishment of KiwiSaver and the superannuation fund, making New Zealand sign language an official language, the Working for Families Package, the It’s Not OK domestic violence campaign, marriage equality reform, ACC restructuring and becoming the first minister for disabled issues.

Ruth Dyson in her Christchurch office in 1999.

David Alexander/Stuff

Ruth Dyson in her Christchurch office in 1999.

She said she had served as MP for 9768 days without a single day of sick leave and had only been expelled from Parliament once “which is extraordinary considering my inability to keep quiet”.

But she also had a final promise.

“It has been an absolute privilege. I really love the role and will miss it.

“I shall not depart like a thief in the night, nor shall I disappear into the shadows.”

Dyson on the campaign trail in Christchurch in 1992.

John Kirk-Anderson/Stuff

Dyson on the campaign trail in Christchurch in 1992.

Football news:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The coronavirus had the courage to challenge me. Bad idea
Leeds United confirmed the transfer Llorente. The Sociedad defender was paid 18 million pounds
Bartomeu - Suarez: I want to organize a farewell match. Barcelona will always be your home
Arsenal are Interested in Jorginho
PSG refuse to rent Allie because of the excessive demands of Tottenham
Lopetegui about Bavaria: Such a team has not been in Europe for many years
Angel Di Maria: Ronaldo is a beast. It is incredible that he is fighting with Messi, being less gifted by nature