Former Labour MP Maryan Street has farewelled Nelson, declaring she will not contest another election campaign after her party failed to get enough votes to return her to parliament last month.
A special farewell was held for Maryan at the Victory Community Centre last Thursday, after she missed out on returning to parliament as a list MP by just one place.
She says she has “loved” being involved in Nelson and will miss it dearly, but will seek new employment in the aid work sector or treaty negotiations, something she did before coming into parliament. “I was serious about being here as a list MP and being a part of the community. But now it’s time for a new candidate,” she says.
Maryan was a three-term list MP, contesting the National-safe Takanaki/King Country seat in 2005. She became a cabinet minister towards the end of Helen Clark’s government, and it was during that first term she decided to move to Nelson and contest the Nelson seat, long held by National’s Nick Smith.
Maryan was returned to parliament in 2008 and 2011 via the Labour list and the ability for Labour to collect enough party votes.
She says she fell in love with Nelson and what it has to offer.
“I loved working for people here in Nelson, I really loved it.”
She signalled out working with businesses of primary production, visiting Nelson schools and being involved in the arts and music scene as real highlights. She says the Cawthron Institute is the “jewel in Nelson’s crown”.
She also said working with Q Youth was something she loved and Nelson is lucky that it has so many non-government organisations and volunteer groups. “This city is underpinned by a huge network of NGO’s and voluntary organisations that carry a lot of the burden in this community, and I really value their contribution as they are often unseen and unsung.”
Maryan says she will not rush any decisions about her future. “I’m enjoying some time to myself. The house is really clean and the ironing is done. It’s kind of nice being a domestic goddess, making dinner every night. It’s taken my partner a bit of getting used to.”