Nash Family History


Sir Walter Nash


Hal Nash

Politics runs deep in the Nash family, with Sir Walter Nash being one of the longest serving MPs in New Zealand political history. Walter was also Labour’s third Prime Minister and their first Finance Minister; delivering nine budgets (and matched for the first time only recently by Sir Michael Cullen). Along with Michael Joseph Savage and Peter Frazer, Walter set the economic and social direction for the nation when Labour won an historic victory in 1935.

Walter Nash believed that the role of politicians was to work for the people in order to make life better or everyone. It’s about making a difference. While I would never ever compare myself to Walter, I do carry the same philosophy. I believe that politics is about delivering change that matters and implementing policies that really do make a difference to good hard working Kiwi families who are just after a fair go.

This was Sir Walter Nash’s favourite poem. Says it all about the great man.

It Couldn’t Be Done
By Edgar Albert Guest
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Family in Napier

My father’s mother’s family moved to Napier in 1865 and were successful merchants and retailers for generations. The Nash’s have only been here since 1931, when my grandfather moved here and married my grandmother. My father, Hal Nash, moved back to Napier in 1961.

In fact, my children are the fifth generation of our family – unbroken – to attend Napier Central School on Napier Terrace. My Great uncle was a first day pupil back in 1878. My great grandmother, grandmother, father, myself and now my children all walked through those gates over the years. My son is the current middle year swimming, athletics and cross-country champ.

I also went to Napier Intermediate and Napier Boys High School. I actually believe that if you have good memories of the place you grew up in, you never lose the passion for the area. I love Napier and when given the opportunity to return I jumped at it. It’s the best place in NZ to bring up children and we have a fantastic lifestyle.

For many though, Napier is not the Art Deco, seaside paradise one sees on the marketing brochures. We do have areas of substantial deprivation and poverty. We need to change this and provide for all the families that call Napier home. Everyone deserves a place they can call home, enough money to put food on the table, pay the rent, the power, put petrol in the car and shoes on their children’s feet. That’s my quest. Hard but not impossible.