Southland’s MP Class of 2017: Hamish Walker

Hamish Walker with his partner Penny Tipu (centre-left) and and their respective mums Barbara (right) and Donna.

While the final make-up of our government is still to be determined, Saturday's election delivered four southerners to parliament — three of them coming into the office for the first time. Advocate South caught up with them post election to see how they're getting on in Wellington.

Newly-elected MP for Clutha-Southland Hamish Walker said he saw himself as the 'new kid on the block' as he started his two-week induction into Parliament on Monday (September 25).

"The first day was crazy. It was like the first day of school on steroids. You sit down for about four hours and they run you through everything from... IT to staffing."

Mr Walker won with a strong margin of 19,524 votes in the electorate out of a total of 32,598. He said he worked really hard over the short course of five weeks to campaign for the electorate seat, and was very humbled and honoured to serve for the electorate.

"I look forward to working hard and giving them an active voice in Parliament."

Over the course of his campaign, Mr Walker said the large electorate had a wide range of diverse issues depending on the location. However, key messages he said he'd be taking into the seat so far were managing growth in Queenstown and Te Anau, as well as stimulating growth in other regions in the electorate.

He also said he was looking forward to telling the farmers' story on social media. 

"The majority of farmers are doing an excellent job."

Mr Walker said he planned to be working closely with Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie, who would be returning to serve her second term in Parliament. 

"She had some very good results with Todd [Barclay] over the last three years, so Sarah and I will be working very closely to score wins for the district."


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