Watch: National MP opens up about tragic death of her two-year-old son, in maiden speech to Parliament




National MP Denise Lee has given a heartfelt maiden speech to Parliament where she talked about the death of her two-year-old son being a driving force behind her political career.

The MP for Maungakiekie began her speech with a Maori welcome before later talking about the unexpected loss of her two-year-old son Riley.

"One night I awoke as a young parent and decided to check on my two year old son Riley only to discover he had died in his sleep.

"What ensued was a series of random interactions with a cold-hearted function-driven system.

"The failure of police inquest officers, pathologists and coroners to sensitively inform and communicate their process to two shell-shocked parents still mystifies me today," Ms Lee said.

The ordeal played a large role in the National MPs decision to change what she saw as a broken system.

"This indignance formed a seed that merged into a big part of the driving force that sees me standing here today.

"Politics really did become personal for me then. A flick of the pen, wording of an amendment, an exchange in the debating chamber - parliament’s processes affect everyday lives," she said.

Ms Lee also said she believes the system has since improved for the better with the 2006 Coroners Act better protecting grieving families.


loading error