Par­lia­ment’s ‘deputy ref’

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By JA­SON HOW­ELLS

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.

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