Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pillay standing down

Lynne Pillay has announced she will be standing down at the next election. Its a shame, but after three terms, she's more than done her bit. As I've noted with other MPs, spending any time at all in the poisonous atmosphere of Parliament is more than we have any right to ask of people, and so Pillay has my thanks at least for putting up with it.

Her big achievement in Parliament has been the passage of the Human Rights (Women in Armed Forces) Amendment Act 2007, which removed one of the last vestiges of legal discrimination on the basis of gender from New Zealand law. The bill began life as a member's bill, but was eventually adopted by the government - something which should have happened from the beginning. Pillay has also promoted bills on workers' rights, and served as chair of the Justice and Electoral Committee last term - during which she oversaw the repeal of sedition. That doesn't sound like much, but most MPs never get to pass anything, so its not a bad record for someone who never made Cabinet.

As announced on Red Alert last month, Phil Twyford will be seeking to replace Pillay as the Labour candidate in Waitakere.