MPs' hidden talents: Paul Goldsmith hits the right notes with piano and taekwondo

Government minister Paul Goldsmith may seem mild-mannered, but beneath his calm exterior is a man who loves playing piano and the violence of taekwondo

On the surface, Paul Goldsmith seems the epitome of a mild-mannered MP.

Dig a little deeper, however, and the bespectacled Science and Innovation Minister will casually talk about his enjoyment of martial arts,. before playing a Russian classic on a church piano.

Goldsmith started learning piano as an eight-year-old, wandering up the road in Mt Roskill for lessons, and says it has evolved from a chore to a pleasure.

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith says he has occasionally been called upon to prove his piano-playing ...
Supplied

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith says he has occasionally been called upon to prove his piano-playing abilities on the campaign trail.

"It's something that you start off doing because your parents told you to do it, then gradually you get over a tipping point where you can play for pleasure, and that's what I do.

READ MORE:
* Chester Borrows: the painting politician
* Numbers man Steven Joyce rules the pool table
Peter Dunne: Bow tie master
Purler of a way to keep peace for Metiria Turei

"Once I finished lessons, I got to know a few people and started playing duets and have just kept on playing ever since - now, it's one of the greatest joys I've got in life."

Paul Goldsmith says playing piano is now one of the greatest joys he has in his life.
Paul Goldsmith's office

Paul Goldsmith says playing piano is now one of the greatest joys he has in his life.

While Goldsmith struggles to identify any transferable skills for the political arena, his talents have occasionally been put to test on the campaign trail from sceptical voters.

"It's one of those things you put on the little blurb about yourself in a biography...

"I went to one function once prior to the election [in] 2014, this lady [said to] this big crowd of people, 'Here's the local MP. Now, it says in your biography that you play the piano - well, there's a piano, play it,' and I had to go play it and prove myself."

Paul Goldsmith plays for the parliamentary rugby team, and also enjoys the physicality of taekwondo.
David Joseph / Phototek.nz

Paul Goldsmith plays for the parliamentary rugby team, and also enjoys the physicality of taekwondo.

Goldsmith is also a 2nd dan black belt in taekwondo, having started the martial art at university "just to get a bit of exercise".

Ad Feedback

He says the fury of taekwondo and finesse of piano are a good mix - "as long as you don't break your fingers, which I haven't done too often".

While the rigours of Parliament prevent him from attending classes these days, Goldsmith says his children are keen participants, giving him the chance to "go out there and have a blast".

"The good thing about taekwondo is it just gives you an opportunity to yell and be violent and let off a bit of steam, so that's good fun and I enjoy that."

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback