Retiring Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples, admits that before he became an MP, he had no desire to become a politician and preferred instead to be a community advocate.
Dr Sharples gave his valedictory speech in parliament on Thursday afternoon and was supported with a waiata from his whanau and a group from his Ngati Kahungunu iwi.
The former Maori Party co-leader praised Tariana Turia for her strong opposition to Labour's Foreshore and Seabed bill, which lead to the hikoi in protest of the legislation.
He said if he hadn't backed her, he would have happily gone back to working in the community on iwi projects.
The outgoing Tamaki Makaurau MP confessed that he had no plans whatsoever to be a parliamentarian because he had his work cut out for him in his community.
But he said because of the nationwide outrage over the Foreshore and Seabed legislation and the protest march that ensued, he met with Mrs Turia in Auckland and they decided to form a political party which they would both lead.
Dr Sharples' swansong was followed by Mrs Turia's final speech in the House.