Keith Locke is about to give his valedictory. There will be a big crowd in the House to hear his speech, and no doubt at the party afterwards. Keith has won a lot of respect and made many friends during his 12 years in Parliament.
I have been friends with Keith for about 25 years and I have to admit when I heard he was standing for Parliament I didn’t immediately think that with his activist and revolutionary politics he’d be suited for the place. How wrong I was. He has made a huge contribution.
He has been a dogged advocate on civil liberties and human rights, and a voice for a progressive internationalist foreign policy.
He put up with endless barbs from members of the House who wanted to paint him as an ultra-left nutter, and just kept plugging away, sticking to his principles, avoiding ad hominem attacks, and maintaining his dignity. And for someone whose politics are pretty far to the left, he has shown a great ability to work with MPs across the House.
Go well Keith. Thanks for so many years of great service to New Zealand.