Parliament's departing Speaker has told the House his biggest political regret is voting against the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
National Party MP Lockwood Smith delivered his valedictory speech on Wednesday afternoon before leaving to become the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Dr Smith arrived at Parliament in 1984 as the MP for Kaipara and was Minister of Education for half a decade in the 1990s.
On Wednesday, he told the House of his remorse at some of his past decisions.
"Regrets that have lingered include my voting against the homosexual law reform bill in 1986.
"I faced the classic dilemma of voting according to my own judgement or the opinion of those I'd been elected to represent. As a new member, I opted for the latter and always regretted it."
Dr Smith says he also regrets introducing means testing for student allowances - and had a warning for MPs about the downside of the Mixed Member Proportional voting system, or MMP.
"This House, in so many ways, has become a place of political parties, rather than a house of representatives.
"Now, I'm not for one moment trying to make a case for the old (First Past the Post) system. But I do believe there will come a time when we'll need to re-examine that balance of accountabilities."
Lockwood Smith is expected to assume his new role in London in March.
Former Cabinet minister and National MP David Carter was elected Speaker on 31 January.
Just before Parliament sat to elect the new Speaker, the Labour Party nominated its Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard for the role, but National had the numbers to elect Mr Carter by 62 votes to 52.