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Glen Bennett maiden statement in Parliament [AI Text]

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I call on Glen Bennett to make his maiden statement, Mr. Speaker.[00:00:30] [00:01:00] [00:01:30] Mr. Speaker, it's been my, my life's work has been all about serving people and serving our community. However, I am an unlikely politician. I've always stood for people's [00:02:00] rights. I've been a voice for those who have had no voice, but power titles, they mean very little to me, and sometimes I've seen them in such a bad way that power and title oppresses instead of liberating. So I always said, no. No, no to the idea of running for parliament, but that no was eventually massaged [00:02:30] by many people in this room, including the prime minister's, own auntie and local identity Maria. So here I am. My approach to life is best summed up. By the Aboriginal artist and activist Lila Watson, who said, if you've come here to help me, you are wasting your time.[00:03:00] But if you've come here because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together. I've followed this mantra in my life and in my work, not by fixing everything for everybody and doing everything. But walking alongside them, working together for our liberation. Now, I say this, I wasn't into politics, [00:03:30] and here I am, but let's be honest, 1984 was quite a big year for me. I was nine years old, and David Longy was this larger than life character. His passion, his oratory, his humor, it captured this nine year old schoolboy from Dominion Road School in Mount Rococo. 1984 was also the year that I wrote in my school journal. Don't look too closely at the crosses, and it said this, when I [00:04:00] grow up, I wanna be like my dad. My dad's a Salvation Army officer. My dad helps people when I grow up, I want to help people. My parents. Salvation Army work was rather hectic. Take a side, the timbers and the tubers, the Red shield appeals knocking on doors and moving every few years as mum and dad gave themselves [00:04:30] to the work. There was also the unique experiences that my parents gave me. The drunk who spent a few nights sleeping in our garage, sobering up the family from overseas who had experienced trauma and were staying with us. The skinhead having Sunday lunch with us for his birthday, as well as the countless prison girls that came and went from our home. 1984 was also the year that I have a vivid memory that's [00:05:00] changed me. The person that I am today, my mum was the chaplain of Mount Eden Woman's Prison. Times were different back then, Kelvin, and uh, we used to get easy access down the corridors of the prison into the south, into the common areas. And it was quite regular after school for mum to swing by a home, pick us up and take us to the prison to visit some of these girls or to visit some of those who'd recently been released. But this one afternoon mum swung by [00:05:30] a home and I was just there by myself and off we went to visit one of the girls who just got outta prison and her baby. Now this was nothing different or unusual. And then we arrived at the old NIE hanger rubbish dump. I was confused. We were visiting a mom and her daughter. We drove through the dump to a working shed out the back. We hopped outta the car and I can still smell the smell of that [00:06:00] dump and the confusion thinking, why are we, what are we doing here in this dump? We knocked on the door and this mother and her child answered it. We went inside, we sat on the edge of the beds, in the sheds, in the back of a dump, and it was immaculate what little she had. She took great care of, mum had the conversation, we left and went home. Now, I don't remember the [00:06:30] conversation that mom and I had in the car that day, but I do remember thinking that something is wrong. That a woman and her baby. In New Zealand are living in a shed at the back of the dump. That experience changed me and has never left me. I now also think it will shape my work here in Parliament. Mr. Speaker, my [00:07:00] life's call to serve people has led me to being a foster parent over the past 20 years, and I wanna acknowledge some of those. Tara. Uh, Tam here. Uh, those who aren't here to nui, to Nigel, to Dennis, to George, to Kevin, and Blade to you, and to your whanau. I love you. I've committed my life to you, [00:07:30] which means that it's a sacred honor for me to be here serving you in this place. And for me now at this beautiful young age of 45 to be Cord Glen, but I stand here because of you. Every day that I walk into this house, I think of you and of the chances that you never had of the trauma that is your unwelcome [00:08:00] friend of a system that wasn't responsive to your needs or your culture. I think also of the children today who are going through similar things. I stood for Parliament to make a difference on a larger scale than just my community work. I wanna see a transform society where my UNA will have more opportunities, face less prejudice, and be part of a country that loves and looks after our most [00:08:30] vulnerable. This place is a place of power where decisions are made to change people's lives. And I'm a living example of that here in Parliament today cuz this place, as I said, has a power to oppress, but it also has the power to liberate. And today I feel liberated standing here wearing this Wai, due to the courage of this house that yesterday I was able to marry the man [00:09:00] that I love and cloak myself and his fucker Papa. Represented in this man. My nine year old self, a 9 0 4 would've been pretty happy, but pretty confused about this whole experience. I still am actually, to be honest, but I feel liberated in this place. This place of power has liberated me. So thank you to all those who work for liberation. I know what it's like to be on the [00:09:30] margins, to be mocked. And sadly, I know that there are still some in this country who struggle with their bigotry and old thinking. John and I have been called faggots over the fence of our own home. Wanted on the campaign trail, I was challenged for my perversions. One person wanted to make sure that everyone knew that I was gay because then no one would vote for me. That didn't work. This man [00:10:00] denied my Christianity and tried to wield the Bible against me that day. Minister Andrew Little stepped in and he said to this man, this is not about your religion. This is about your prejudice. Our society's come a long way, but we have a long way to go. Thank you, Andrew. Louis the wall. Thank you for your fight for us that we can be married here [00:10:30] and those who go before you. Before us today. Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to stand here as the member of Parliament for New Plymouth. And I also wanna acknowledge that it was 34 years ago. That the last MP for New Plymouth gave a maiden speech in this house. Harry Dihn, thank you for being here.[00:11:00] I'm humbled that the constituents of New Plymouth have placed their trust in me to champion their causes, their needs, especially the needs of our most vulnerable. There's a few thank yous, which is a risk I know, but nonetheless, yeah, luckily this isn't being recorded. Our campaign team, grant Hassel, Bali Huck, [00:11:30] Lorraine Weber, Colleen Hammonds, ESMA Eastman, Gordon Goer, Anthony Rhodes, Colin Bell, thank you so much to Bruce Getwood Cook, Virginia Winder. Shelley Baldwin, Mike Baldwin. Brendan Lister. This is where I go rogue and name a few people. I probably gonna muck it up now. But anyway. Leslie, Ollie, Maria, dun, Troy, Ryan, Eileen Coffin Gold Star volunteers. But you all are gold star volunteers cuz [00:12:00] here we are. And here I am standing in front of you to the new Plymouth, L e c, to members and supporters. We got there. To Andrew Little again, thank you for putting your trust in me. And for you, prime Minister, thank you so much for allowing me, having faith in me and probably getting some text from your Auntie Soff and to tell her what things I've been doing wrong. I also wanna thank Tama [00:12:30] Wni or Taranaki who have been on my journey with me to community Taranaki, who have helped me, empowered me to be here. As your representative and as representative of our people to Edo my faith community, who always keep me grounded. Thank you. And to my family. To mum and dad, to Drew and Delwin, Jackson, Montana. Leo, [00:13:00] Charlie, to Mark, and Nikki, to Ezra, to Micah, to Judah. I think I've got them all. Lucky. We're a Pakia family and to John, my rock, my world, I wouldn't have run if it wasn't for you walking alongside me. Thank you. I love you. [00:13:30] Husband. Most of all, I wanna thank the people of new plys, of Wata, of Kuda, of aki, and everywhere in between for putting your trust in me. Our electorate is blessed with natural beauty resources and talented, hardworking, down to earth people. To my constituents. As your member of Parliament, I will work for. You all, I'll [00:14:00] be an MP for you even if you voted for me or did not vote for me. And I am brimming with ideas and how we can bring the possibilities of our community together. My door is always open. My vision for New Plymouth is a city that leads New Zealand's green energy future that we ensure that it is a just transition. I'll continue to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. That we have a world class medical care system for our [00:14:30] people in our region, and that our communities rediscover and reimagine the connectedness between neighbors and communities. I wanna serve our region and our country where it's not about just talking about issues and problems, but it's talking about possibilities and the assets of the people within our communities. I spoke earlier about a, a woman and child living by the dump, [00:15:00] and today we have a housing crisis in New Zealand and I strongly believe in this government's vision that everyone has a warm, dry place to go home. A vision of houses that shelter them from the wind and the rain. And one where the young people of Taranaki can afford a house to raise their whanau. Mr. Speaker, I stand here proudly as a Labor Party MP and see that the wonderful challenges and excitement we [00:15:30] have, the fact that we are gonna be teaching our own history in schools, that we have our own public holiday that represents this nation, and that tonight in this house legislation begins, uh, to deal with. The Maori ward and allowing councils and allowing councils to have, uh, a better representation. And [00:16:00] many of you in this room have fought for that. So thank you. I close and speak to this Wai and to this kuda that I wear and I especially wanna thank Maori woman in my life. Who have guided me, they gifted me this, that kuda the three feathers of putty haka. And so it is with this Tonga front and present with me today that will guide me as I serve this house that kuda connects [00:16:30] me to our creator and grounds me to love and service of the people of Aldo, honoring glory to God, to our creator, peace on earth, goodwill to all people.[00:17:00] [00:17:30] [00:18:00] .

This page features computer generated text of the source audio. It may contain errors or omissions, so always listen back to the original media to confirm content.

AI Text:September 2023