Left to right: The Scott family, daughters Holly Scott and Ruby Brandwood, wife Robyn Noble-Campbell, Alastair Scott, his mother Jan, and mother-in-law, Lois Noble-Campbell. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

KAREN COLTMAN
karen.coltman@age.co.nz

Two-term Wairarapa National MP Alastair Scott gave his valedictory speech in the parliamentary chamber last night. The 15-minute speech was delivered to colleagues, opponents and 150 friends and family including his mother Janice.

“Mr Speaker, in preparing for this speech I did some research on other valedictory speeches,” Scott said. “Most give thanks to their supporters. Some talk about what they had achieved, others talked about what they had not achieved and wished they had, and some talk about what should be done in the future. But all of them will talk at some point about their favourite subject – and that is, themselves. And so, Mr Speaker, I will do the same.”

Reflecting on his six years as an MP, Scott said it was a privilege and something most people didn’t get to do, including people that want to.

He is proud of his staff, all of which stayed with him throughout his tenure.

“We ran a tight unit with a great bunch of people and helped numerous constituents through issues such as serious housing issues and immigration matters,” he said.

“I guess I have brought business and management experience of running teams and working with people to the role and this is a reason my offices have run well.

“With some of the inexperienced politicians I have seen some of them run offices with a sense of entitlement.

“I have seen some throw their toys out of the cot, but it is important to keep calm in a volatile and political environment.”

Scott said he had enjoyed direct contact with people in the electorate right from Central Hawke’s Bay through to the south of the electorate.

He spent time pushing for drug driving testing measures to come in and will do this until his last day in Parliament next Thursday.

He had enjoyed work on the Regulations and Review Committee.

In his speech he raised his annoyance at benefit abatement rates and various rent subsidies that he said discouraged work and were “punitive”.

He used his speech to also have a poke at himself.

“And of course, Mr Speaker, I have had at least 101 very good ideas. Don’t worry, I won’t go through them all. Most of them unfortunately did not have the support of the numbers, either in caucus or from the public, and so the idea fails, at least for the moment.

“That is the nature of democracy. Slow moving and frustrating for me at times, but democracy ensures that my crazy ideas are not instituted simply because I sit in this place as an MP.”

He said he couldn’t wait to get back into the “real world” and get on with projects.

“I am looking forward to being hands-on again and am up at Matahiwi Estate now more regularly.

“I’ll chill out for a few weeks with my family and get ready for the next steps.”

Overall, Scott sums up his six years of service to be: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? But seriously it’s been good fun and I have enjoyed a bit of a scrap here and there.”