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Selwyn Times: February 21, 2018

12 Wednesday

12 Wednesday February 21 2018 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi SELWYN TIMES Our People Amy Adams From lamb roast gravy to vying for Selwyn MP Amy Adams is vying to become National’s next leader. Bridget Rutherford spoke to her about why, farm life, and who she would poach from Labour Why did you decide to stand for the leadership position? It all came about really quickly. I wanted Bill English to carry on. He’s an extraordinary leader and had done an amazing job campaigning. I don’t mind admitting I rang him up and pretty much begged him to stay on. But I respected his decision. When he made his announcement, I was at home in bed sick, but I got myself up to Wellington and started talking to colleagues and a number of people rang me up and said: ‘You need to stand’. My only goal is I want National to win the 2020 election. When we had John Key and Bill English, there was no question in my mind they were the best choice. I want to make sure caucus has a range of options to choose from, so I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. It sent strong message of support having four other MPs behind you at the announcement. I think all the contenders will have their support in caucus. Those MPs said they wanted to be out there with me, and I was really touched by that. Why and when did you get into politics? I got into politics in 2008. It was an odd step in some ways because I hadn’t been political. I had been a party member for a couple of years but I wasn’t a regular. I had an amazing mum who used to say: ‘If you’re not happy with something, you should try do something about it’. I was frustrated with the direction the country was going under Helen Clark and Labour. I had a young family, so you start thinking a lot more about what sort of country they were going to grow up in and I wanted to make New Zealand a place they wanted to base themselves. How different is it now being in the opposition party? I don’t have the responsibility and the intensity of when I was carrying six big portfolios. You don’t have the big box of papers arrive on Friday nights that had to be read before going into Cabinet. But I’m every bit as busy, it’s just different. We’re working really hard to hold the Government to account, but also work out how we’re going to take the party into the next election. As an opposition, you’re not there to criticise the Government’s job, although we will hold them to account, but we are here to talk to New Zealand about the vision we have for this country, and how we’re going to get it done. When you were younger could you ever have imagined yourself as a politician? No, 100 per cent not. Mum kept a baby book and wrote stuff in it that I had said and done. When I was four I said I was going to be a concert violinist and be in government. I love debating and I loved arguing, I was a pretty stroppy and opinionated child. How long were you a lawyer for? Sixteen years. I grew up in Auckland. At 17, I packed up my Honda Civic and drove to Christchurch to go to law school. I had a brief stint in Invercargill when I first left law school, but I’ve basically always been a Cantabrian. I moved back to Christchurch and was doing a range of work. I mostly did property and commercial law, relationship, property Resource Management Act work and trust law. It was an interesting transition because as a lawyer, you apply the law, and at times I got frustrated about how the law was set up. So the chance to change it was pretty appealing. Do you have any siblings? I have a sister. My parents split and my father remarried so I have a half-brother and halfsister who I get on really well with too. It’s quite the contrast – Auckland and a farm in Selwyn. Was it hard to get used to? I never saw myself marrying a farmer. I’ve always been into animals, I love dogs, I always say a house is not a home until there’s a dog in it. I rode horses a lot when I was younger as well. But you fall in love with who you fall in love with. Don and I have TOP JOB: Selwyn MP Amy Adams wants to lead National to win the 2020 election. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER been married for 22 years and I can’t imagine anything else now. In Canterbury you have the best of both worlds. We’ve moved off the farm now into West Melton we still farm it, but you can live in the country and can be so close to the city and the airport. Where did you and Don meet? It was at the Firehouse on Colombo St when I was at uni. I had gone out with a friend after some law exams, and Don had been in town for a farming seminar. We met up and started talking and he called me up the next day. What kind of farm do you have? It’s called Montford. It’s a sheep and crop farm predominantly. It’s the family farm Don’s mother grew up on. Farming’s in his blood, he’s the fifth generation farmer in the area. It’s near Aylesbury. Need a Mobility Scooter? 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SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday February 21 2018 13 the National Party’s top job You’ve got two kids don’t you? Yes. My son Tom is 20. He’s a student at Lincoln University. Lucy is 18 and she has just moved into the halls at Canterbury University. Lucy is studying commerce and law, and Tom is studying agriculture science. Do either of them want to get into politics? I think watching me do it has probably put them off (laughs). But they are so supportive of me and proud of what I’ve done. When Bill English made his announcement, they were both there and I talked to them and said should I put my name forward? And they said: ‘Go for it, mum’. What do you like to do in your spare time? To be honest during the year if I’m not working, I’m usually pretty exhausted and want to be at home quietly with the family. I do a lot of reading and I’ve been watching some Netflix shows. I love good food and nice wine. I love tennis and watching sport and walking Poppy our springer spaniel. What Netflix shows have you been watching? I’ve been watching the second season of The Crown, which I love. The Fall is great, and Ozark. And I’ve been watching Stranger Things, but I’m not sure how I feel about it just yet. Do you still help out on the farm? I don’t a lot anymore, on the weekends I’m usually out at community events. I did back in the day. The first thing I had to learn marrying a farmer was how to make a good gravy for the lamb roast and a good batch of scones for the shearers. Why did you move off the farm? It was a range of things. The kids were both at school in town, and the house was getting old, and we saw a house we loved in West Melton. Were you impacted by the September 4, 2010, earthquake? Yes, we were 1.5km from the epicentre. We were really lucky the ground was really solid. Our house was an old 1915 bungalow. There was quite a bit of inside damage. As many others will know after an earthquake, you never quite trust your house the same way. I remember lying in bed when the earthquake hit and had a flash of ‘that’s it, the house is going to collapse on us’. What ministerial portfolios have you held in Parliament? I was minister of internal affairs, communication and IT, environment, justice, courts, social investment, social housing and Housing New Zealand, and associate minister of Canterbury earthquake recovery and finance. Do you have a favourite? That’s like trying to make me pick my favourite child (laughs). Each had their own challenges. Three things that stand out to me are in the communications and IT space, the roll-out of ultra fast broadband and better cell connection. In the environment space I put in place New Zealand’s first ever national water quality standards, which I’m incredibly proud of. And the work around family violence. There were other big issues like resolving the David Bain case after 22 years. No matter what you do, it’s always going to be wrong to some people. The Teina Pora case was a big one too. Yes, Teina Pora had a horrific experience. I was really proud to be able to make a public apology and public statement that he was innocent. And I know that meant a lot to Mr Pora. You like to speak your mind. Has that got you into trouble? Nothing big. When you’re a politician, every word you say is scrutinised. People say to me I’m a bit blunt or aggressive or stroppy. But I say what I think, I don’t hold grudges, and I like people to be straight with me. In 2016 you were described as the Government’s best performer and a “quiet achiever.” How did that feel? It was totally surprising and I was thrilled. I’m not a politician that’s spent a lot of time seeking out a public profile. It was really nice that putting your head down and doing the hard yards was noticed. What’s something people wouldn’t know about you. IMPORTANT ROLE: Amy Adams has been in Parliament since 2008. She spends most weekends at events in the district, such as the Hororata Highland Games. I have school certificate in Indonesian. I can’t remember much, but I have the ability to say: ‘That was a lovely dinner, thank you,’ in Indonesian, which I used recently in Bali (laughs). And if you could poach someone from the Labour Party, who would it be? Annette King. I know she’s retired, but I admired her political skills and the way she worked with her officials. She’s a nice pleasant, decent person. I could see myself working with her. Paul and the team at Somerfield Upholstery want to thank all their customers for their support and wish them a Very Happy Christmas and Prosperous 2018 Closed 20th December 2017 Reopens 19th January 2018 BEFORE AFTER Boarding ROAD SHOWS 30 YEARS EXCELLENT RANGE OF FABRICS EXPERIENCEFREE Recover your couches and chairs and save money! 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