Gosche to retire

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, May 29th, 2008 - 19 comments
Categories: labour, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Mark Gosche has announced he will retire from politics at the election. Gosche has represented the people of Maungakiekie for 12 years and, in 1999, became the first minister of Pacific Island descent. You will be aware of the family tragedies that led him first to step down from Cabinet and now to retire.

Here’s a sample of what will be one of his last speeches in Parliament, on the Minimum Wage and Remuneration Bill (which protects people from being employed as ‘contractors’ as a means of circumventing the minimum wage, a la Reachmedia):

“It is a pleasure to take part in this debate as a Labour member of Parliament. This is the sort of thing we stand for on this side of the House—fairness, not ripping people off, and not misusing the elderly and the young to go out there to make massive profits for people who can get on national television and say they find it acceptable to pay somebody as little as 25c an hour.”

Good on ya, Mark. Best of luck in the future.

Incidentally, another retiring MP put his oar in while Russell Fairbrother was speaking in the same debate-
Fairbrother: …The unspoken [National] script there is that the employer can screw over the worker to maximise the profit, and can describe it as productivity.
Bob Clarkson: There’s nothing wrong with that.

19 comments on “Gosche to retire”

  1. Yikes – the rats really are slipping away from the sinking ship…

    Wasn’t Gosche supposed to the great hope of the Labour “Left”, but somehow turned out to be fairly conservative and hopeless?


  2. higherstandard 2

    While I often didn’t agree with his viewpoint there is no arguing that he will be missed in parliament.

    Certainly a hard worker who was more interested in getting things done than his own profile and ego a few more with a similar attitude on all sides wouldn’t go amiss

  3. Bryce Edwards says: “Party Vote Act”.

  4. Good on ya Bryce. Really top notch stuff from you.

  5. Ari 5

    Yeah, what is the standard’s policy on linkwhoring your own site in comment text? I mean, I understand if there’s a relevant post, but he’s got the link in his name, it doesn’t seem like he needs to be tacking it onto the ends of his comments.

    HS- That’s good of you to say. I can think of a few Nats who I’d say similar things about- for instance, Katherine Rich will be missed. It’s always nice to see people putting party lines aside and acknowledging that some of our MPs in Parliament are actually genuinely good and productive people.

    [lprent: To be discouraged. As you say, you can add your location in your name.

    Just at present it isn’t that much of a problem because there are only two people that do it (I just scanned for it). Bryce and the occassional excursions by TDS. If it expands I’ll start taking steps in my usual fashion. In the meantime I’d suggest simply referring to it with disparagement.]

  6. higherstandard 6


    While I’m to the conservative end of the political spectrum I regard most politicians of all ilks with a deep suspicion.

    When I’ve had dealings with with Mark in the past he’s always been an extremely honest and forthright chap who’d go out of his way for you regardless of who you are. There are more like him on all sides in parliament but sadly I think they’re in the minority.

  7. burt 7

    Fairbrother: The unspoken script there is that the employer can screw over the worker to maximise the profit, and can describe it as productivity.

    Is he talking about refusing to give junior Dr’s the same level of pay rise as MP’s have enjoyed for the last 9 years?

  8. I’m genuinely very sorry to hear about Mark’s departure, but not surprised given the tragedies that he’s had to deal with.

    Over the years I’ve come to respect him a great deal, and can only describe his hard work in recent years as heroic.

    [The use of “somehow” reveals that Edwards probably doesn’t realise how much he demeans himself with his inappropriate remarks.]

  9. Stephen 9

    Really, how on earth did you get ‘party vote ACT’ Robinsod? Really. Though I think it was very callous to ignore the “family tragedies”,

  10. No burt. he’s talking about National’s Employment Contracts Act and the attitude of National to workers’ rights.

  11. Really, how on earth did you get ‘party vote ACT’ Robinsod?

    As I understand it Bryce has been a guest speaker at a couple of small act events and has been providing them advice on their social policy.

  12. Stephen 12

    I said something about Kiwiblog being ‘the National Party blog’ over there once, and was accused by some guy of probably being under instruction “from the 9th floor”. I think it’s pointless to make accusations like that when one is simply being critical.

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    I can only echo higherstandard’s comments. Gosche seemed genuinely determined to use his time in Parliament to do some good, and without an underlying agenda of doing so merely to court publicity. And yes, as Ari says, Katherine Rich is another of the better ones to be going.

    The blurring of lines between the two ‘main’ parties and the similar behaviour and tactics of many people on both sides of the House seem to drive some people to adopt a “my party good, that party bad” attitude no matter what.

    We need to acknowledge those MPs of any stripe who’ve achieved some good while in Parliament and leave NZ in some way better for their presence there… or else all we’ll get is the publicity hounds and the sycophantic time servers. Or Bob Clarkson, who simply defies (polite) description.

  14. I met Mark Gosche when he spoke at a conference I attended a couple of years ago. He impressed me as sincere and unassuming, in an environment where egos reign. I am aware of the family tragedies he has persevered through over the last few years, and no-one would begrudge him now putting his family first.

  15. George.com 15

    Mark is a nice guy and has a very close family. I have a lot of respect for him and the Gosche family. He is a loss to the Labour party. But for family tragedy he would have gone a long way.

  16. erikter 16

    What are Gosche’s major achievements? What did he accomplish when he was a Minister?

    Surely, he’s a likable person, a decent guy, the first Pacific Islander MP, but that aside: what has he done?

  17. erikter. we’re not google. If you’ve got a question, you’ve also go the greatest library in the history of humanity at your fingertips. search for basic info yourself.

  18. George.com 19

    I don’t think you can simply sum the guy up by what he achieved as a minister. I saw potential leadership in him, maybe future party deputy leader or perhaps even leader. Would have made a decent minister of education perhaps. Given things in his life he never got the chance to excell as a higher level.

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