Farmer delighted to head back to Parliament

Fourth on the NZ FIRST list MP Mark Patterson is back in Parliament after the party's election result. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

NZ First MP Mark Patterson is ‘‘delighted’’ to be back in Parliament.

The Lawrence farmer unsuccessfully contested the Clutha Southland seat in 2017 but entered Parliament as a list MP.

He opened a NZ First office in Gore.

In the 2020 election he ran in the newly created Taieri electorate but did not win the seat.

Nor did he return to Parliament because NZ First did not poll high enough to have any list MPs.

Although the final results of the election are not confirmed, Mr Patterson, who is fourth on the party list, will take his place in the debating chamber when Parliament reconvenes.

He was not only delighted to be back himself but also pleased the party would be represented in Parliament again, Mr Patterson said.

It was not until the final tally of votes was known in November that a decision could be made about whether he would open an office in Gore again.

The party would also not know until then if its MPs would be part of the government or opposition, he said.

Given his rural background, whether he was part of the government or not he was focused on the farming sector.

‘‘[I’m] very much looking to sort out the mess of regulation that Labour have brought in.

Completing a term as Otago Federated Farmers president had been helpful.

‘‘It kept me current in terms of what the issues are.

‘‘Part of being an effective MP is having good networks and contacts within the industry. I’ve got a broader depth of experience now.’’

He felt he was well-prepared for the challenge ahead.

Having a parent away all week in Parliament was ‘‘tough’’ on family life but his children were older now.

‘‘We come into this with our eyes open and with the girls being a little bit older it’s hopefully less disruptive.’’