National MP Paula Bennett bids farewell to Parliament after 15 years

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 6:32PM
Paula Bennett in April 2019 with flowers from Simon Bridges for her 50th birthday. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)
Paula Bennett in April 2019 with flowers from Simon Bridges for her 50th birthday. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)

National MP Paula Bennett bids farewell to Parliament after 15 years

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 6:32PM

Paula Bennett, former Deputy Prime Minister, makes her final speech in Parliament today after 15 years.

One of National's more colourful MPs, the avowed "Westie" became Deputy Prime Minister under Bill English after Sir John Key resigned from Parliament in 2016.

She has had love-affair with leopard-skin and even had a leopard-skin car.

She entered Parliament in 2005 as a list MP then took the Waitakere seat from Labour in 2008 before the electorate disappeared and she went to Upper Harbour.

She has held 14 ministerial portfolios, including Social Developent, Climate Change, and State Services.

She remained deputy leader of the National Party when Simon Bridges was elected leader in February 2018, and was deposed with him in May during the Todd Muller coup.

She share her retirement plans with comedian Tom Saiansbury - who specialised in Bennett impersonations - before announcing it to Muller and did a farewell dance with him to post on social media.

Bennett, who had a weight-loss operation in 2017, is planning to have a celebration after her valedictory speech.

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