By Todd Muller
John Key gave me three pieces advice when I became an MP three years ago. One, never forget your family – they were there before politics, they will be there after politics. He told me to make sure I ring them every night I was away in Wellington and try to make their important events, even if you have to leave an electorate event early.
Two, work as hard as you can in your community, try to listen more than talk to lift your understanding of all those you seek to represent.
Three – enjoyment in politics, he said, will be measured on how you do both of these things well.
I reflected on these words on Saturday night as we took in the very special election result and I have to say he was pretty much bang on. In no way have I mastered his advice, but I feel I am at least pointing in the right direction. I was surrounded by my family and it was very special to be able to acknowledge Michelle, Aimee, Bradley and Amelia and my wider family for their support. I was able to acknowledge how very humbled I am by the support of the wider community. This is an unusual job where you only really know how you are tracking every three years.
Thanks for your endorsement and be assured I will continue to learn and apply my experience on your behalf. As you can tell, I love doing this job. It's a privilege and I feel especially honoured to represent a community that my family and I have been a part of for 43 years.
Finally, a personal thank you for the extraordinary kindness shown by my fellow political candidates and wider community at the passing of my father. You will never know how powerfully small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can amplify when one is grieving – thank you.