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MP: Norman King was a special man

Northcote MP, Ann Hartley, will be mourning a special friend when she attends Norman King’s funeral today.

“I knew him all my life,” she said. “He was really the inspiration that got me into politics. He was a great parliamentarian and a compassionate man.”

Norman King, a Member of Parliament from 1954 to 1975, died on Monday. His funeral will be held tomorrow at Schnapper Rock.

Mrs Hartley’s father was Mr King’s electorate chairman from 1954.

“We lived in Orewa and he lived in Bayswater, but in those days the Waitemata electorate stretched that far,” she said. “Dad used to say that Norman was the only MP to ever defeat Robert Muldoon, who stood against him in 1957.”

It was on behalf of Mr King that Mrs Hartley took her first political steps.

“We children helped to deliver pamphlets during the campaigns,” she said. “We were very young, but even then I was impressed by the way he supported and encouraged the community.”

Years later, when Mrs Hartley was a young Birkdale housewife fighting to get the region’s first community house going, it was Norman King to whom she turned.

“He was the Minister of Social Welfare from 1972 to 1975, and even though the idea of the community house was pretty radical in those days, he was prepared to support us. He gave us the grant that got us off the ground and ultimately led to the network of community houses we have today. The North Shore owes him a great debt.”

Mr King was also instrumental in getting the IHC started in the district.

“Norman, and his late wife, Majorie, cared deeply about the community in which they lived,” Mrs Hartley said.

“Everything Norman did as a politician was for the people. He taught me what good could be achieved in politics when people who care are prepared to stand up for what they believe in. I have kept his example close to me throughout my political career.”


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