Despite the Southland farmer label, Mary English reminds me that her husband has been in politics for well over a decade. Their last year on the farm was in 1996 and political life is embedded in the family culture.
"If one person goes into politics, the whole family goes in as well," she says. "And after 10 years we're sort of veterans."
At the same time there is a strong commitment to keep the children out of the public eye, which is part of the reason they hired the nanny. "We've made a commitment, they haven't."