Parliamentary Club of New Zealand Lions
MPs from four parties join to form Parliamentary Club of New Zealand Lions
They’re usually on opposite sides of the House, but on 18 September 2003 20 MPs from four parties come together to form the Lions Club of New Zealand Parliament. To launch the club, the MPs are hosting a black tie dinner and charity auction at Parliament’s Banquet Hall - with all proceeds going to support Kidney Kids, a cause supported by Lions Clubs through the Kantab programme.
Rugby legend Joeli Vindiri will be the guest speaker, while Kidney Kids spokesperson Jonah Lomu will be represented by his manager Phil Kingsley-Jones. The guest auctioneer will be Tauranga MP and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.
The Parliamentary Lions Club’s inaugural President Hon Brian Donnelly said MPs have few opportunities to work together in completely non-partisan ways, so the opportunity to be part of New Zealand’s largest service club was a very positive development.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for MPs to demonstrate their commitment to the community,” said Mr Donnelly.
“Lions is the largest service organisation in New Zealand, contributing thousands of volunteer hours to projects within our communities and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. Lions’ activities are as diverse as the Lions Recycle [eyeglasses] for Sight programme to driving for Meals on Wheels. The Parliamentary Club will help draw attention to key national and international Lions projects and programmes so that they receive the status they deserve.”
The first MP members will be sworn in at the dinner. It is hoped that others will join – membership is open to all Members of Parliament. The club currently has members from Labour, National, New Zealand First and United Future. Labour MP David Cunliffe will be Club Secretary and United Future MP Paul Adams will be Treasurer.