QSO for long-serv­ing MP

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

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.

MAARTEN HOLL

Na­tional MP Lind­say Tisch at the end of his vale­dic­tory speech in Par­lia­ment in 2017.

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