Parliament’s ‘deputy ref’
Waikato MP Lindsay Tisch, nicknamed Hobbiton MP, is proud of the town he has grown up in and now represents.
‘‘Matamata is a vibrant community and it is a great place to be able to work, bring up a family and retire in,’’ he said.
‘‘It has all the facilities right here and has strong agriculture and land based industries, including racing, filming and excellent education facilities.’’
Mr Tisch grew up in Hinuera, attended local schools and claims to be the first person to ever grow potatoes in Matamata.
Along with representing Waikato he is a part of the Pohlen Foundation Trust and is a Justice of the Peace.
Since the National Party came to power in 2008, Mr Tisch has assumed the dual role of both MP and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, presiding under Lockwood Smith in a role he said required an empathy with MPs and an ability to read the mood of the house.
‘‘Sometimes my control over the house gets challenged but I enjoy being referee,’’ he said.
Since being elected Mr Tisch believes he has brought bipartisan ethics to the role, leaving the debating to the politicians.
‘‘I can’t get involved, if I did that I would lose the respect of the house.’’ Lockwood Smith agreed and said Mr Tisch was not someone who enjoyed playing the game of politics.
‘‘That is why he is suited for the role,’’ he said.
Following Dr Smith’s example Mr Tisch has also been more active than past deputy speaker’s in getting members of the house to answer oral questions.
‘‘You do get tested; you have to stay good humoured. I haven’t had to throw anyone out yet.’’
Mr Tisch has been in politics since the mid 1960s and said he got into it to influence change.
‘‘You have to get involved, you can’t do that from the back bench,’’ he said.
‘‘It was an enormous privilege to be nominated for the position.’’
At present, both speaker of the house and deputy speaker are both from the National Party, something Lockwood Smith said was important for holding the balance of power in the debating chamber.
‘‘Lindsay has served more hours in this role than anyone else I know and has overseen a substantial amount of act amendments,’’ said Dr Smith.
Prime Minister John Key said Mr Tisch’s experience and background has stood him in good stead as MP for Waikato and as deputy speaker of the house.
‘‘ I thoroughly enjoy working with Lindsay and I hope to visit his electorate later this year.’’
Mr Tisch is married to MatamataPiako district councillor Leonie Tisch.
They have two adult children, Andrea and Karl, who were brought up in Matamata.
Everyday people: Waikato MP Lindsay Tisch was born and raised in Matamata and still cherishes the small town.