National rejuvenation

National did a reasonable job of rejuvenation last term, with a number of MPs resigning, most of whom had minimal political futures. National have also turned over some ministers too, like Simon Power from the first term and Tony Ryal last year.

Andrea Vance has a look through the current ranks to see who might exit this term and who might be on the rise in Reshuffle likely as Nats rejuvenate.

Wellington’s worst-kept secret is that Trade Minister Tim Groser is shortly off to relieve Mike Moore as New Zealand’s ambassador in Washington.

Also likely to be waving goodbye to Parliament in 2017 is Assistant Speaker Lindsay Tisch, whether he likes it or not.

Murray McCully was talked about as a potential retiree before the last election and is a possible but it looks like he remains unwilling to indicate what his intentions are.

Bill English must also be considering his future. He gave up his Clutha-Southland electorate last year and is now a list MP, making it easy to retire without disruption this term.

And who will be looking to rise? As far as rising to the top goes this depends on how long John Key wants to stay, and there’s no sign yet that he wants to give up the top spot.

Amid the wreckage of the Northland by-election, there was conjecture about the damage it would do to the career prospects of Steven Joyce and Paula Bennett, who led the campaign.

After Judith Collins‘ sacking during the Dirty Politics saga, it became accepted Joyce and Bennett were front-runners to replace John Key as leader.

Bennett is probably fairly unscathed but Joyce was the face and the ‘mastermind’ of National’s Northland disaster and following his handling of the Sky City embarrassment he must have damaged his future chances.

Collins has been quietly rebuilding her career and is expected to be reinstated to Cabinet at the next reshuffle, presumably later this year (unless forced by an earlier resignation). She will have support but the Whale Oil taint might be hard to forget,

Vance also lists four up and comers, although three are rookies so may have to wait for promotion.

Alfred Ngaro, Parliament’s first Cook Islander and a thoughtful community worker, is almost certainly next cab off the rank into Cabinet. His campaign to win Te Atatu off Labour’s Phil Twyford has already begun.

I met him early in his first term at a National Party event. He seemed nice but was not very outgoing.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller (a former Zespri and Fonterra high-flier) is not new to politics: he was a staffer to Prime Minister Jim Bolger and has served on National’s list-ranking committee.

Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger, like other female backbenchers, has kept a low profile.

Chris Bishop (list MP), a protege of Joyce and a former tobacco lobbyist, was tipped to rise through the ranks even before he entered Parliament.

So there looks to be scope for rejuvenation in National this term, but the latter three would have to leapfrog quite a few other longer serving MPs.

A big issue for an overall perception of rejuvenation could be whether Key can look revitalised or at least interested. Being Prime Minister is a hard grind. More and more often he looks frustrated or annoyed at what he has to deal with.

Especially if English retires I think it’s likely Key will try and stay on to try for a fourth term.

Leave a comment


  1. dancing in the streets

     /  6th April 2015

    Thank goodness Winston is there to keep them honest 🙂

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th April 2015

      I guest next to Winston most politicians seem honest.

      • duperez

         /  6th April 2015

        I guess next to John Key Winston is the most honest politician this country is ever likely to see.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  7th April 2015

          Winston is the closest thing to a political Nigerian scammer this country is ever likely to see.

  2. David

     /  6th April 2015

    Maybe Key wouldn’t look bored if the press gallery actually managed to ask him an interesting question, not another one about Snowden.
    Key will meet hundreds of people and I bet there is no crossover from what joe public asks and what the press ask him

  3. kiwi dave

     /  6th April 2015

    Bishop is so close to key he seems joined at the elbow (wherever key goes, bishop is always right behind him)

  4. Role on 2017.. the rejuvenation of NZ politics & END of ‘team key’ (hopefully) 🙂

  5. Concerned Kiwi

     /  7th April 2015

    Zedd: If your prediction was correct this country would be no better than Greece in 6 months. There would be a major shift of companies offshore, money, and investments, and what would a fiscal manager with only the ability to count its same sex partner’s daily bus float know about economics . . . like you, nothing. Confidence would be gone within hours, and what about inability to pay benefits for leeches that elect them . . . tough!

    • more fear mongering from a staunch tory…. like you !
      OH DEAR, how sad !! 😦 😦


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