‘I am Catholic, I am a Filipino, and a New Zealander’ Paulo Garcia’s Maiden Statement

Mr Garcia gave his maiden statement to the House last week in which he shared his values, background, and hopes for his time at Parliament.  

Maiden Statements are an MP’s first words in the House and often compared to their valedictory (final speech) at the end of their term. 

Mr Garcia replaces former National List MP Nuk Korako and told the House his appointment is a “testament to this great nation that migrants can become New Zealanders and represent this nation in our House of Parliament.”

MPs sometimes signal important issues in their maiden statement that they will focus on during their time as an MP. 

“Whatever laws we might pass in this Chamber, the pro-life voice must no longer be despised and discounted as offensive,” said Mr Garcia 

 “Preachers of tolerance and inclusion must no longer seek to silence and condemn those with opinions that make them uncomfortable but are nevertheless opinions based on another person’s own beliefs and values systems.”

He also thanked his family and supporters.

“I would not be here without the help of amazing examples of fortitude and courage. My mother, Anna, as she personally took loving care of my father over the 10 years he suffered dementia until his death”. 

“I am Catholic, I am a Filipino, and a New Zealander, and I am happy, excited, and blessed to be standing here before you,” he said.