"Any tips for newlyweds?
SIMON: Relax and enjoy your relationship – and don’t be too hard on each other. Marriage doesn’t need to be perfect to be fantastic."
Chit-chat with Tauranga MP, National Party up-&-comer and all-round good guy …
1. Who do you most admire, and why?SIMON: I’ve just finished reading a book about him … William Wilberforce, who campaigned against slavery most of his life. A very inspiring man.
2. If you weren’t a politician, what else would you love to be doing?SIMON: I’d have a real change and do something outdoors – like landscaping. Yeah, something completely different.
3. What book is sitting beside your bed?SIMON: Actually, I’ve got three on the go at the moment. I’ve got Graham Greene’s A Quiet American … I’ve got The Best Of Jeeves & Wooster … and I’ve got a World Bank Report on carbon trading (something I need to psych myself up for!).
4. Who’s your No.1 hero?SIMON: My wife, Natalie – because she’s often left to raise our son Emlyn singlehandedly. When I’m in Wellington we can sometimes be apart from Monday evening to Thursday.
5. What’s the first thing you’d change about New Zealand if you could?SIMON: Educational underachievement. Sadly there’s a reasonably persistent minority of people who don’t come out being able to read and write and do well.
6. If you could be on a desert island with just one person, who would that be?SIMON: Bear Grylls! He’d keep me alive, and be good company at the same time.
7. What’s your fondest memory of growing up?SIMON: The day my dad took me to the now defunct Footrot Flats theme park. It was great to spend a day, just me and my dad, going on all the rides.
8. Any tips for newlyweds?SIMON: Relax and enjoy your relationship – and don’t be too hard on each other. Marriage doesn’t need to be perfect to be fantastic.
9. How about some advice young mums and dads?SIMON: Don’t listen to advice! If we had a dollar for every piece of stupid advice we got when we became parents … all sorts of ridiculous things. Stay positive and you’ll be fine!
10. If you could do anything in the world right now and not fail, what would it be?SIMON: I’d end human slavery and trafficking – a major global problem that still leads to misery for millions.
Issue 3 2012 Take 10 (205 KB)