My father died when I was six and my mother brought me up in very poor circumstances. She was an Austrian-Jewish refugee who got out just before the Nazis invaded in 1938. My mother was a very determined Jewish matriarchal woman. She always used to say, “You get out of life what you put into it.”
My advice to anyone, but particularly young people, is if you want to do something, you have to make it happen yourself. I wanted to be prime minister, I wanted to be financially successful, I wanted a successful marriage.
This is not the most important issue by a long way for the country but, ultimately, I was unsuccessful in changing the New Zealand flag and I have always thought back on that.