New Dunedin Labour MP ‘privileged to be here’

Rachel Brooking. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Rachel Brooking. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Self-proclaimed "public law geek" Rachel Brooking is "exceptionally happy" to be a new Dunedin Labour MP.

Ms Brooking spoke to The Star after her first day of an induction programme for new MPs at Parliament in Wellington on Monday.

"The whole new class of 2020 is up here."

Parliamentary Services organises the programme for new MPs to teach them the rules they must operate within and political parties also have their own orientation process to help their newly-elected representatives get their bearings.

The programme was scheduled to finish today.

"We are pleased and happy to be here but we know there is a lot of work to do and we don’t want to take anything for granted."

Ms Brooking was "exceptionally happy" to be an MP.

"It’s a big responsibility ... I’m very privileged to be here."

She wanted to make "great, beautiful New Zealand, a better place" and was a "staunch" advocate for Dunedin.

"I was put on the list because of my expertise for resource management law and for also being a company director."

The Dunedin lawyer was the Otago University Students' Association president in 1997, before obtaining a double-degree in ecology and law and launching a career in environmental law, including a stint working for the parliamentary commissioner for the environment in Wellington.

In 2002, she and husband Chris Jackson, a cancer specialist, returned to Dunedin.

She and her husband have three children attending three different Dunedin schools.

"The children are used to having at least one parent away."

She travelled between Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland for 10 months up to June this year, as an expert panelist on a Resource Management Act review.

In her new role as an MP, she was looking forward to improving some laws.

"That’s the public law geek in me."

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