QSO for long-serving MP
In 2017 Lindsay Tisch farewelled his political career - and while he says he left on a high note - a few days prior to Christmas, it only got better.
The former National MP and Deputy Speaker of the House made the 2018 New Year Honours list and is to be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, for services as a Member of Parliament.
‘‘I received a letter from the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a few days before Christmas, it was pretty special.
‘‘It’s a privilege and an honour and I am absolutely thrilled.’’
Tisch was an MP for 18 years, he stood down from Parliament, to instead take a stand beside his wife Leonie, who is the current Rotary District 9930 Governor.
‘‘I have been able to support her in doing that, as she has supported me in my time in Parliament. We have been travelling around the greater part of the North Island. She had 53 Rotary Clubs to visit and I have been the bag boy.’’
Serving the community has always been a role Tisch has enjoyed.
He is a Justice of the Peace, and a former Matamata Lions member. He was one of 3000 New Zealanders to receive the 1990 Commemorative Medal for services to the community.
Outside of politics Tisch’s career included farming, valuation, banking and management consultancy.
From 1986 Tisch was involved with the National party, prior to becoming an elected member of parliament in 1999.
From 1988-1994 he was the Waikato Divisional Chairman covering 16 electorates.
He worked his way up the party ladder, becoming the party president.
He was also the National party campaign director in 1996 - the first MMP election.
National’s campaign was successful and a coalition government was formed.
In 1999, when Matamata MP John Luxton announced he would become a list MP, Lindsay was successful in gaining the nomination as the National party candidate for the electorate.
Tisch won the Karapiro Electorate in 1999, renamed Piako at the 2002 election and later became Waikato in 2008.
He was re-elected every three years until his retirement, when his successor, young-gun National MP Tim van de Molen, whom Lindsay mentored, became the new MP.
Tisch made sure he was accessible to the public.
Each year he increased the party vote, which under MMP is important.
Tisch worked his way up the political ladder from junior and senior whip, and deputy speaker of the house.
He ended his career on a high note and has no regrets.
His goal was to help people - and felt he did just that.
‘‘I have seen our communities grow and prosper.
‘‘We built a strong organisation, at a party level, which was a great stepping stone for me when I became the MP, to be able to build on that support.
‘‘In a voluntary organisation, you are only as good as the people who are backing you up. I had good party support and staff, and that’s crucial, they have had their finger on the pulse.’’
He refers to his secretaries Debbie Sankey in Matamata, Maxine Viggers in Cambridge and Toni Grace in northern Waikato, all actively involved in their communities.
‘‘They are the eyes and ears. Having them in place and knowing what’s going on, then they were able to feed into me.’’
And while he is officially retired, he is far from taking life in the slow lane.
He is the current chairman of the Pohlen Foundation, an organisation he has been with since its inception.
While no longer being restricted to the parliamentary calendar, he is also looking forward to spending more time with his children and grandchildren.
‘‘If there is a Grab-a Seat, I can go where I want, when I want. That’s the flexibility I want.
‘‘I don’t miss it at the moment. I have done my time. I want to be there for our grandchildren’s special moments, like starting school.’’
And while he may no longer be what he calls ‘‘in the loop’’ in current day politics, he will still keep an ear to the ground.
‘‘I will become very interested when budget time comes in May.’’
Lindsay has been supporting his wife Leonie, in her role as Rotary District Governor.
National MP Lindsay Tisch at the end of his valedictory speech in Parliament in 2017.