End of an Era

Helen Clark gave her valedictory speech yesterday in Parliament, I watched it on the web and felt a huge sense of loss. She is an amazing woman and has been an inspirational leader of the Labour party, and our country. I am sure she will make a huge contribution to the United Nations in her new appointment.

It is strange to think of parliament without her, She became an MP in 1981, and a minister in 1987, the leader of NZLP in 1993. She is probably the main political figure who has remained constant in my lifetime so far. Helen is a remarkable woman who has made a huge impact in her career so far. She is the PM I have respected the most, I remember growing up calling the PM "piggy", and then watching my parents become disillusioned as Labour turned its back on its core beliefs in the 1980s. Helen's steady leadership brought my family back to the Labour fold and the return to core social democratic beliefs for our country.

I joined the Labour party in 1999, I was unhappy with the thought of National having another 3 years in power, I was a student, my student loan was growing daily with interest and I knew that change was necessary.

I have met Helen on many occasions and found her to be warm and caring, and genuinely interested in what was happening to people around her. I have been inspired by her and will continue to be.



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