Dunedin MPs: Calvert expected to make it six

Hilary Calvert
Hilary Calvert
Earlier training as a "couple counsellor" could prove helpful for Dunedin's Hilary Calvert when she finally enters Parliament as an Act New Zealand MP.

Speculation is that disgraced Act MP David Garrett will resign from Parliament today.

Last week, he resigned from the party after it was revealed he had stolen the identity of a dead child to obtain a false passport.

Ms Calvert (55) is eager to take up the challenge of becoming Dunedin's latest MP, taking the city's MP count to six.

Already, the city has Pete Hodgson, Clare Curran and David Parker (Labour); Michael Woodhouse (National); and Metiria Turei (Greens).

Former long-serving Dunedin North MP Stan Rodger said it was "quite remarkable" Dunedin would have all those MPs when, in his experience, the most the city had had previously was four.

"Even someone opposed to MMP, like me, can see the benefits. Diversity and now representation," he said.

It would be interesting to see whether the six could work together on local issues, he said, with perhaps one of them taking the initiative to set up an informal forum to canvass on local matters they could each take to respective caucus meetings.

Health and education were always cross-party issues but roading could be another, Mr Rodger said.

It is likely Ms Calvert will have other issues on her mind when she joins the Act caucus, which has been split in recent weeks after former deputy leader Heather Roy was sacked and replaced by John Boscawen, a supporter of leader Rodney Hide.

"Back in the day, I trained in couple counselling. Who knows, that might be very helpful," Ms Calvert said yesterday.

She had a good working relationship with the Act caucus, including Mr Garrett, she said.

She agreed Act's message of less government, more personal choice and better use of taxpayer funds had been lost and wanted to remind party members what Act values were.

With her three children having left home, Ms Calvert said it was a good time for her to enter Parliament.

Her husband, Alistair Broad, intended to spend time in Wellington with her.

Ms Calvert and Mr Broad had trained as lawyers but had given up their practising certificates.

Both had property interests, with Ms Calvert focusing on student accommodation.


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