This post was published in the New Zealand Herald, Saturday May 4, 2013 as their letter of the week.
It is unlikely that we shall see the likes of people like him in our parliament
Parekura Horomia had many influences that shaped him into the impressive
man and minister who he became. Perhaps his greatest experience came through
his life. He was not born of privilege or wealth and his major education came
through the school of hard knocks.
Less than a generation ago our parliament had people like him
in all parties. Their experience bought real benefits to our parliaments and also
Parties then also made and campaigned for policies and
no one had heard of focus groups. No locals electorate race would
have been trivialized as to the battle of the babes.
It is difficult to see any of our current parties selecting candidates
for winnable seats or top list positions who in anyway are like Parekura.
Today our parliament is in the main, full of people who lack
his life experience. They have a very different experience often coming through
working for minsters, or in party research and media offices.
Our parliament which has always had people of real ability and
thankfully this situation remains. The loss of members who have not come through
the school of hard knocks is a loss of humanity and considerable talent.
Rest in peace Parekura, you will rest with giants