Stuff reports that in it’s annual report Trans Tasman rates John Key ‘head and shoulders above rest’.
Trans Tasman, a political newsletter, has released its annual rankings of MPs and gives Key the top score with 9.5 out of 10 (he scored 9 in 2013), saying that, while problems could lie ahead, 2014 was his year.
“It was a straightforward choice,” it said of its selection. “Key has stood head and shoulders above the rest in the polls, and his party romped home in its third election, the third time in a row it has added extra seats as well.”
Bill English came close, being rated at 9/10.
Only Deputy Prime Minister Bill English came close to Key, scoring 9 out of 10. “The safest pair of hands in the Cabinet,” Trans Tasman said of the finance minister. “There’s nothing he needs to prove and, if he sometimes seems boring, he couldn’t care less.”
Interestingly Andrew Little climbed substantially.
No opposition MP scored more than 7.5 (Annette King and Winston Peters), although new Labour leader Andrew Little climbed from 4.5 in 2013 to 7.
I don’t know if becoming leader influenced this.
Cunliffe was rated a 6 – “History may judge him more kindly than last week’s headlines. Is he New Zealand’s Kevin Rudd?”
Not sure about that. He failed at leadership level.
All of National’s front bench either maintained their rankings or improved, with Education Minister Hekia Parata one of the big risers after a year (moving from a score of 5 in 2013 to 7 this year) in which she managed to escape the furore she attracted over Novopay and Christchurch school closures.
The publication was not so kind to some of the ministers outside Cabinet, with Craig Foss and Jo Goodhew scoring only 3.5, just half a point ahead of Melissa Lee, the lowest-ranked Government MP.
Claudette Hauiti, who quit politics at the election after an expenses scandal, was scored at just 1.
Trans Tasman noted that Key was taking chances with his credibility, pointing to his refusal to answer questions about his links with blogger Cameron Slater.
“Key pushed the boundaries with his ‘not in my capacity as PM’ get-out-of-jail card, and he shouldn’t chance his arm like it again. Third-term governments are as much about people management as they are about policy management,” it said. “The question has to be – whether the PM has the staff in place to support him to a fourth term.”
There’s challenges ahead for Key.
THE BEST John Key, National,
Helensville: 9.5 out of 10
“He’s still phenomenally popular, and if he comes through a third term without serious damage a fourth could be within his grasp . . . the question has to be whether the PM has the staff in place to support him to a fourth term.”
Bill English, National, list: 9
“The safest pair of hands in the Cabinet . . . There’s nothing he needs to prove and, if he sometimes seems boring, he couldn’t care less.”
Gerry Brownlee, National, Ilam: 7
“He’s had the toughest, longest job in Cabinet and there’s still a lot of work in progress. Brownlee is rarely recognised for what he’s achieved, and he should be . . . [On airport security] gaffe . . . he should have known better.”
Andrew Little, Labour, list: 7
“Former caucus loner who was everyone’s second choice for leader except the unions . . . No-one is going to die wondering what Andrew Little thinks; he’s a tough-talking union man from way back who isn’t going to compromise his beliefs.”
David Cunliffe, Labour,
New Lynn: 6
“History may judge him more kindly than last week’s headlines. Is he New Zealand’s Kevin Rudd?”
Russel Norman, Greens, list: 7
“After John Key, Norman works the media better than any other party leader.”
Winston Peters, NZ First, list: 7.5
“Does he have the will and the stamina for another three years on the Opposition benches and a campaign in 2017?”
THE ONES TO WATCH?
Stuart Nash, Labour, Napier (new – unrated)
“Strong campaigner with a big ego . . . Watch for a leadership tilt in the future.”
Simon Bridges, National, Tauranga: 7.5
“Lives by Judith Collins’ credo, it’s better to give than to receive. Unlikely to pull his head in, but he should think about it.”
David Clark, Labour, Dunedin North: 5.5
“A clever MP, sometimes a bit too smart for his own good. Fortunate to be promoted.”
David Parker, Labour, list: 6
“Lost party respect by selling out his leader and vacillating over running for the top job . . . Says he has “no immediate plans” to leave Parliament, but we doubt he’ll be standing again.”
Hekia Parata, National, list: 7
“She’s in the unfortunate position of having every Opposition MP, and maybe some others as well, watching her and waiting for the next catastrophe. They could be disappointed, she’s more careful and is better at managing her strengths and weaknesses.”
Nick Smith, National, Nelson: 7.5
“If boundless enthusiasm and a huge work ethic count, he is best suited for the job [of environment minister] – if he doesn’t upset too many people along the way.”
Murray McCully, National,
East Coast Bays: 7.5
“Ongoing tensions with his ministry and anyone else who crosses him is all managed out of the public domain.”
Nathan Guy, National, Otaki: 5
“Better suited to tramping around in gumboots. He’s a farmer, he talks their language. Deserves a break.”
Chris Hipkins, Labour, Rimutaka: 6
“Failed to fire during the election campaign. Did just enough to avoid the disloyalty tag. Extremely competent Whip and a political beast.”
Craig Foss, National, Tukituki: 3.5
“Novopay was a hospital pass and Foss fumbled it, which is tough but that’s life.”
Judith Collins, National, Papakura: 4.5
“An icon of dirty politics, it is arguable whether she is more dangerous on the back bench than she is in Cabinet. One way or another, she’ll again be a force to be reckoned with. How or when is something Key may worry about.”
Rino Tirikatene, Labour, Te Tai Tonga: 2.5
“Do still waters run deep or are they just still?”
Steffan Browning, Greens, list: 2.5
“[Green] MPs scrambled to assure the nation they weren’t all lunatic fringers after Browning signed the ‘treat Ebola with homoeopathy’ petition. Now he has to prove he isn’t a silly old fool.”
Alfred Ngaro, National, list: 6
One of the hardest-working MPs in Parliament. Deserves a ministerial post.”
David Seymour, ACT, Epsom (new MP/unrated)
“Will be good for ACT. Whether anyone listens to what he says or cares about the party’s future is another matter.”
– The Dominion Post