Todd Muller MP started with some interesting inside information on what had been a long week in politics for Labour and the Greens. He then reminded members about the necessity of not taking anything for granted in an MMP environment. After an anecdote about his knocking on over 2000 doors so far, he described his recent trip to Dubai and Iraq.
As Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee he accompanied the Minister of Defence. Their trip began in Dubai where he met some of the 60 New Zealanders who provided surveillance in a P3-Orion to combat drug trafficking in the Gulf. They then flew to Baghdad in a C130 Hercules and experienced a hair-raising steep dive of a landing, whilst wearing flack-jackets and helmets. After meeting the Iraqi Minister of Defence and a 3-star US general, and listening to a full military briefing, they flew to Camp Taji, and met more New Zealander service personnel. Todd movingly described the immense pride he felt in these soldiers who were training the Iraqi army. In his opinion they epitomised the essence of New Zealanders through their professionalism and humility.
Todd ended off by explaining how he had been involved in the Save-a-life battle, and that his grandfather had been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship.