Why I won’t ever be an MP

ALP factional boss Senator Mark Arbib resigned. He gave a long statement to a press conference about letting Labor heal, and the toll being a politician takes on your family.

Was Mark Arbib’s decision made off the back of a mid-life crisis? The senator said despite what some might think, being a politician was a seven-day-a-week job.

“The time away from your kids, the time away from your spouse is incredibly hard,” he said.

Many years ago he promised his wife he would reassess his own professional life when he turned 40. He reached that milestone last November.

When he was promoted to assistant treasurer in December, he shared the news with his family over dinner.

“My daughter said to me, ‘Dad, is it going to mean more time away from home?’,” he said.

“I told her it will, she started crying and said, ‘Don’t take the job Dad, don’t take the job’.

“For me that says everything about the life of a politician, it says everything about the stress on family.”

MPs make huge sacrifices for their careers and often families have to bear the brunt of these sacrifices. I would never be able to make these sacrifices, because I would not be able to leave my family behind every week to go to Wellington.

I’d also be troubled because I think I would fail the good man test. I wouldn’t be able to help out my mates when they needed a hand moving house, or be there if their wife died, or their kids were in trouble and they needed a mate to look out for them. As an MP I’d be too busy fighting meaningless petty battles that contribute little to the greater good.

Much of what happens in Wellington is pointless. Winning minor tactical victories means losing focus on what matters. In the crazy filibustering of some silly legislation Labour took an urgent sitting through until the Saturday afternoon. One MP missed their daughter’s third birthday party because of this filibuster.

Maybe it was worth it, but they will never get the opportunity to go to their daughters third birthday ever again.

Being an MP in exchange for missing my daughters third birthday party simply wouldn’t be worth it to me. I once quit a high paying job in Sydney one Monday morning and flew back to Auckland on Thursday night because if I stayed working for that company I would have missed my son going to school on his first day. I wouldn’t compromise for that and I sure as hell wouldn’t compromise for flying to Wellington every week to listen politely to people I neither respect or even want to sit with.


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  • Nick K

    Very well said Cam.

  • Kosh103

    Is it becuase you would get next to no votes?

    • Jester

      You mean like Liarbor did?

      • Agent BallSack

        Don’t feed the trolls. Especially leftie ones that should be preparing lessons. Can’t wait for NS to be implemented, bet they find Kosh lacking in all areas especially English.

      • Super_Guest

        Nah, ABS, what Kosh needs is performance pay. I wonder if he could survive on $20 a week?

      • Kosh103

        Funny, I thought Labour had over 30 MPs in the house. Seems they got some votes.

    • Bobm (ex RNZN and Angry Croc)

      I guess that he would beat you hands down Kosh.

      • Kosh103


    • politically unstable

       There are plenty of MP’s in house with few votes – what was Andrew Littles count???

  • Beenthere

    Well said Cam, it seems to be a balancing act between family & career at times.

  • Grandstream

    So true Cam !  Just look at the marriage break up statistics for MP’s (except for that well known marriage of convienance, eh Peter ?) And, dispite what idiot Kosh thinks, you would certainbly gain more votes than he or other failed teacher/unionists !

    • Hakim of phut

      Except for those that go to parliament  for the skirt… or sari, eh Murray McCully and Richard Worth

      • Dr Wang

        Hakim:  …and not forgetting Helen, and Maryan, and Louisa, and…shit, nearly any of the Labour Party skirt-chasing gals!

  • Positan

    Yet sadly and most ironically, it’s those very values you’ve expressed that are the ones we, as a nation, most need to see evidenced by such as our parliamentary representatives.  Just look at how even the hint of such values would raise the “human factor” in so many of the chamber’s perk-focused, trough-hogging, self-indulging excuses for humanity.

  • Hakim of phut

    “Winning minor tactical victories means losing focus on what matters ” says WO.

    “The end of gotcha politics”  says  David Shearer

    Singing from the same songsheet ?

    • In Vino Veritas

      The end of gotcha politics? Hakim, you are therefore predicting the utter demise of the Labour Party. Socialism has no other politics than the gotcha, and therefore will have no reason for existence. For example, the whole CollinsArdern thing was gotcha politics. Most questions asked in parliament by Labour lead to gotcha politics.

      Check out Red Alert. There’s gotcha’s everywhere. So Shearer has a lot of work to do to pull his people into line then doesn’t he? 

  • Periwinkle

    As a military pilot’s wife ( Fleet Air Arm, RSAF, RNZAF ) I just had to pretend I was a solo mother.  The children never moaned about the fact that their father could not be at certain events, sad, but they realised that the world was not exactly fair and there are some professions (e.g. medicine) where their fathers are needed for important duties. And I certainly never exacerbated the situation by making them feel they were losing out.

    Military flying was my husband’s raison d’etre and I fully supported him in that rather then moaning about how often he had to leave us – even in NZ he was abroad for months (researching replacements for the Skyhawk etc.). Eleven  months on one mission which was the term where men cannot ask for their families to join them.

    I was paid $6 a day separation allowance in NZ – nothing from the Fleet Air Arm where one carrier trip lasted over a year.

    Many wives seem to do the guilt trip thing on their husbands – I have seen it many times
    but I have never seen a pilot resign his commission to fly home from some foreign land to ensure he was there for his child first schoolday.

    Lucky Cam that he had so many resources at hand that resigning was no problem  and he could find a job to replace the one he resigned from.  Lucky children whose father was an unreliable employee who would prioritise his children over the firm that provided the money for him to raise them.  

      Always two sides – neither is wrong, so don’t guilt trip people Cam! (Quietly I admire your decision.)

    • Hakim of phut

      MPs wives have  unrestricted travel  from their home to Wellington.

      • Tom

        Not always convenient, helps to just be a childless lizard. Is that why she adopted you Hack? 

    • parorchestia

      Thank you for this Periwinkle, but you realise your husband was doing a far more important job than a politician does.

  • Catweasel321

    And here was I thinking it was because you have a criminal record. But then again that wouldn’t preclude you from joining ACT. Hell they’ll even take brothel landlords. 

    • Super_Guest

      Didn’t Labour legalise brothels? And prostitution? Because they needed to have their token trannie MP appear to be doing something

      • Hakim of phut

        And we didnt have prostitution and brothels before ?. 
        Apparently the biggest knockback for working girls  has been online dating.

      • Super_Guest

        “Working girls”. Phut’s swapped his tinfoil hat for a PC one.

      • Hakim of phut

        O RLY

      • In Vino Veritas

        Sarrs, where are you? Your graphics are needed…

      • Sarrs

        Just for IVV

    • Have you ever had a speeding ticket? That is a summary offence. I was convicted of nine summary offences…I do not have a criminal record.

      • Catweasel321

        Nice attempt at diminuition via misdirection but a summary offence simply means its not an indictable one, i.e. serious offence requiring a formal accusation subject to a preliminary hearing to establish a prima facea case, and doesn’t require a jury trial e.g. sub judice contempt of court.

        Other such summary offences, as outlined in the Summary Offences Act 1981, are common assault, disorderly behaviour, offences against public order and even unauthorised disclosure of offical information.

        You however were summarily convicted of “eight charges of breaching judicial orders made under s 140 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 (CJA) and one charge of breaching a statutory prohibition on publication under s 139 of the CJA.”

        If the exhaustive seventy page decision and the failed Appeal are anything to go by your attention seeking burned up plenty of tax payer’s dollars in waste of police and court time. Minor traffic court it ain’t.

        But on reflection maybe I’m being too harsh as just like Lucy, but unlike Peter and Donna, by calling attention to yourself you helped bring attention to an issue that you believe needed clarification. In your case by establishing case law that in perverse way could be construed as a positive outcome.

  • Catweasel321

    Yeah, damn Socialists encroaching once again upon our territory. Entrepreneurial free enterprise and supply side economics is our ideology, they should stick to their own, even if ACT endorses it. 

    And yet the world still stands. Where is all the fornication in the streets we were promised. It defies all christian logic.

    P.s. Gn35 , can you spell check this for me. Thanks Mate.