Henare tweets farewell to politics

Tau Henare
Tau Henare
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 loud."

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 Speaker.

"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 harden up."

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 list MP.

He thanked his wife Ngaire Brown "for all the s*** you put up with".

"To Parliament and the Country, thanks for having me. Goodbye and Good Luck."


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