Parenthood, then politics for new MP
Harete Hipango isn’t a career politician but she thinks she’s helped her community in ways that are just as valuable.
‘‘I’ve just given service to my community in a different way and that’s by practising as a lawyer, but most importantly being a good parent, being a responsible contributing member to the community, but being a good parent,’’ Hipango, the MP for the Whanganui/ South Taranaki electorate, said.
‘‘I think that’s the foundation of any society.’’
Hipango retained the Whanganui seat for the National Party during the recent election, replacing her predecessor Chester Borrows.
The mother of three has been a lawyer for more than 25 years, was born and bred in Whanganui, has genealogical links to Taranaki, has been involved with a health board, was an athlete in her younger years and much more.
She thought becoming a politician was a ‘‘natural progression’’ in her life.
‘‘It was just a matter of when,’’ Hipango said.
‘‘I’d thought about it over the years because I’d always been exposed to that as a little girl, going along to meetings and what we call civic functions with the mayor back in the 60s with my father and grandfather.’’
Borrows had been in the seat for 12 years before he approached Hipango, asking if she would take his place as the National Party
‘‘My focus has always been family first.’’
MP for the area.
‘‘A couple of reasons why I think Chester approached me and I’ve never asked him why - is because we come from a similar background in terms of community service - the justice sector. Maturity is a big factor and experience is another big factor, and I’m genuinely dedicated in wanting to make a difference for the better in our community.’’
The timing was perfect to Hipango.
‘‘It seemed to be really good because the kids had all grown up.
‘‘My focus has always been family first - being a mum first.’’
Hipango said everyone had been asking her whether she thought she could fill Borrows’ shoes.
‘‘When it was first mentioned to me I said ‘well I’ve got pretty sizeable feet’,’’ she laughed.
Hipango said ‘‘ultimately it’s about community’’ and she looks forward to meeting more of the Taranaki community.
Harete Hipango, the National Party MP for Whanganui/ South Taranaki, is looking forward to meeting more of the Taranaki community.