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Big batch of new MPs for Parliament

Published: 12:59PM Monday November 28, 2011 Source: Fairfax

  • Beehive and parliament in Wellington (Source: Thinkstock)
    Beehive and parliament in Wellington - Source: Thinkstock

Twenty-five new MPs will be making their way through Parliament's halls before end of the year.

With a surprising 6.8 per cent of the vote in Saturday's election, New Zealand First will be bringing in six new MPs, while an historic 10.6 per cent for the Green Party also opens the door to six fresh faces.

Labour has had to say good-bye to six MPs, including former Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick and chief whip Rick Barker, but welcomes four new members.

National has nine newcomers, including award-winning broadcaster Maggie Barry, who will be entering the House as North Shore MP.

Sixteen of the 25 MPs have come in to Parliament on the party list.

Barry won the seat by more than 13,700 votes, and said yesterday the election results were ''fantastic''.

''It was a long haul. There was a big team of us on the North Shore and we were very elated by the outcome.

''We grew the party vote from a very respectful 57% to 62%, which was over what we targeted. The hard work paid off.''

Barry's priority was getting to know the electorate, saying she was ''devoted'' to finding a new home in the North Shore.

She was in broadcasting and journalism for more than three decades before turning to politics, and was mostly known for fronting Maggie's Garden Show for 12 years.

Barry quit her hosting duties at RadioLive last year before putting her name down for the Botany by-election, but missed out to eventual winner Jami-Lee Ross.

She wanted to focus on community issues in the North Shore, and had an interest in conservation and broadcasting, she said.

''I will pay attention in particular to those things, but the priority will probably be to concentrate on getting to know the electorate and representing them well.''

Barry was meeting with other new National members, including list MP Paul Goldsmith and Northland MP Mike Sabin, at their induction in Wellington today.

The Labour Party's four new MPs are former Engineering Manufacturing Printing Union boss Andrew Little, David Clark, Megan Woods and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene.

For the Greens, Eugenie Sage, Jan Logie, Steffan Browning, Denise Roche, Holly Walker and Julie Anne Genter will be entering Parliament for the first time.

New Zealand First's list MPs include former North Shore Andrew Williams and ex TVNZ weatherman Brendan Horan.

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