Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) honours departing politician Louisa Wall MP, who has given 14 excellent years of service to Aotearoa.
Louisa has shown courage, professionalism, mental toughness and service in the political field, similar characteristics that she showed in her sporting career.
Apart from her epic work ethic, and her particular support for TINZ, we praise Louisa’s leadership and modelling on matters of ethical behaviour and transparency. We have seen this in evidence through her strong support for a Parliamentary Code of Conduct, her co-chairing of the New Zealand chapter of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC), and her representing New Zealand at GOPAC Oceania.
She has also chaired the NZ Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (a global organisation of national parliaments that empower parliaments and parliamentarians to promote peace, democracy and sustainable development).
Louisa’s insistence on having a co-chair arrangement for GOPAC NZ is an example of her honourable and independent approach to being a Member of Parliament, with a focus on who she represents, not just which club she might belong to.
She has championed important pieces of legislation, not least her introduction and steerage of same-sex marriage legislation in 2013. She has also been willing to openly challenge human rights violations here and in other countries, and to improve the quality of debate and scrutiny at the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
The clear theme across her service to democracy is protection of those who are vulnerable to hate and discrimination. This is what she said she would do in her maiden statement, further evidence that she stands by her word:
“It is now my right and responsibility as an MP to listen to those who have truths to contribute, to identify those absent voices and the barrier to their participation, and to help them have a voice as we make laws and rules for the governance of our society. Politics for me is about being in a position of power to make informed and principled decisions of benefit to society that protect the rights of society’s most vulnerable members.” (Maiden Statement, 4 Mar 2008)
We look forward to seeing what further good Louisa Wall will do in her next role. E mihi ana koe, wahine toa.