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Migrant life puts high-flier with Labour

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    Migrant life puts high-flier with Labour - 11-Jul-2006
    If Labour wanted to signal it was serious about rejuvenating its caucus, the replacement for retiring minister Jim Sutton could not have been better.

    Mr Sutton, 64, is an earthy, grey-haired farmer from Timaru one of several long-serving MPs on Prime Minister Helen Clark's "exits with dignity" list.

    Charles Chauvel, 37, is a gay, meticulously groomed lawyer from Wellington. At 44 on Labour's list, he is first cab off the rank to enter Parliament.

    Mr Chauvel has been loyal to Labour since he was 15, joining the party while at Gisborne Boys High School. He ran for Labour in Maramarua six years after that in 1990 but was beaten by National MP Bill Birch.

    He shelved politics and focused on climbing the corporate ladder, becoming a partner at law giant Minter Ellison Rudd Watts 10 years after becoming a lawyer.

    His CV is full of notable achievements; chairman of the New Zealand Aids Foundation, deputy chair of Meridian Energy and the Lotteries Commission and a member of the Public Health Commission.

    He was president of Young Labour in 1988 where he first met Mr Sutton served on the party's governing body for three years from 1989 to 1991 and now co-chairs Labour's Rainbow Sector Council, the party's gay and lesbian faction. He was Labour's Ohariu-Belmont candidate at the last election.

    The high-flying lawyer enjoys the finer things in life he dresses in designer suits, drives a Mercedes and lives in fashionable Oriental Bay.

    Despite this, he considers himself a Labour man through and through and credits this to the experience of his immigrant parents his father is French Tahitian and his mother Scottish.

    "They would have had nothing if it hadn't been for Labour governments giving my mother's family a house, letting my dad into the country, giving him a job. You remember where you came from."

    He has been with partner David Hollander, a former policeman, for 11 years and has a one-year-old son, William, who lives with his mother and her partner.

    Mr Sutton entered Parliament in 1984 as Labour's MP for Waitaki.

    Six years later he lost his seat but returned in 1993 as MP for Timaru. He was in the Cabinet briefly in 1990 as Agriculture Minister before Labour lost the election that year.

    Since 1999 he has held portfolios in the areas of trade, agriculture, rural affairs and biosecurity.

    He was respected for his trade negotiations work, though he felt the wrath of farmers for fronting Government proposals to allow greater access for walkers across their land.

    He helped launch the present round of World Trade Organisation talks in Doha, Qatar, in 2001, oversaw the completion of trade deals with Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and Chile and entered free trade negotiations with China, making New Zealand the first developed nation to do so.

    "I had 20 wonderful years running a farm, I've had 20 fascinating years as a parliamentarian. I need a job or a new career that can take me through the next 20 years."
    Ref: - Dominion Post

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