Retiring National MP Tau Henare fondly remembers accusing
the Duke of Edinburgh of not doing anything, his hatred of
door-knocking, and inviting the French Prime Minister to Apec -
even though France is not a member.
And he boldly claims he would have been a good Speaker, and
regrets not supporting the parliamentary cleaners' bid for
$20 an hour.
In an unconventional valedictory, the colourful MP and former
Maori Affairs Minister delivered a snapshot of his political
career via Twitter yesterday - all in 'text speak'.
"Was intrdcd to DukeofEd, he asked what I did, I explained to
him that I was a list MP, he sd 'Oh one of those that don't
do anything' ... I said Yeah just like you, he laughed out
He recalled inviting former French Prime Minister Lionel
Jospin to an Apec meeting.
"My words to French PM, 'ill see you in Auckland for APEC',
he said But we are not members, I said 'Well you should be'."
He also rubbed shoulders with former US President Bill
Clinton, giving him a toki (greenstone adze).
"I told him it was used for dispatching enemies. He said he
would have it in the #OvalOffice ready to use."
Last year Mr Henare had to apologise after offending
parliamentary cleaners by saying: "Are we supposed to feel
sorry for every person in New Zealand who's got a hard job?"
Yesterday he tweeted: "Are #Cleaners worth $20 bucks an hour?
Well yes and I should have said so."
He dropped his bid to be Speaker when he lost the Maori
Party's support. Yesterday he said he would have made a good
"Nothing flash and wldve changed the rule book somewhat. I
don't hold grudges (MaoriParty)."
A boisterous presence at question time, Mr Henare said he was
ejected from the House seven times in one year.
"Apologies to anyone Ive offended over 15 years, some need to
He fired a shot at former Labour MP Jim Anderton.
"My first day on the job and I had a run in with Jim
Anderton, Grrrr blamed me ... for the unemployment prob in
the North? He was Pissed off I got the trip to East Timor and
he didn't. Old coot I thought. Still do."
Mr Henare entered Parliament in 1993 with New Zealand First,
was not returned in 1999, but came back in 2005 as a National
He thanked his wife Ngaire Brown "for all the s*** you put up
"To Parliament and the Country, thanks for having me. Goodbye
and Good Luck."