Trans Tasman sexism and racism

Apparently there have been quite a few claims online that the Trans Tasman MP ratings are sexist and racist.

Here’s an example:

Wow. Looking at those ridiculous Transtasman MP ratings and they sure are racist. All the low performers are the non white MPs.

The MP of the year happened to be female, but perhaps Amy Adams doesn’t have Samoan, Ngai Tahu, Indian and Dalmation grandparents.

If someone thinks that women, or Maori MPs, are performing poorly should they not say anything about it?

Stuff listed a few more ratings in The best and worst of New Zealand politics: National, Labour and the rest, and that includes:

National’s bottom five: 

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi: 2/10

“All he’ll be remembered for is the Indian students and faulty fridges disaster. Maybe it’s better he doesn’t say anything, just works away in committees and asks the odd patsy.”

Todd Barclay: 2/10

“Electorate office problems were hushed up. Given a hurry up, and now represents local Queenstown issues more effectively.”

Nuk Korako: 2/10

“What was he thinking with his ridiculous airport lost property bill? Didn’t seem to realise what was actually in it, caucus should have shot it down.” 

Melissa Lee: 2/10

“Part of National’s ethnic diversity who showed promise to begin with, but that was 2008 and it’s all gone now. Past her use-by date.”

Jono Naylor: 2/10

“Calling it quits after one term, so what got into him? No-one has bothered finding out.”

That looks quite multi-cultural and only one woman.

Labour’s bottom five: 

Nanaia Mahuta: 2/10

“There because of who she is, not what she does, which isn’t much. When she does react, it’s usually too little and much too late.”

Rino Tirikatene: 2/10

“Another disappointing year. No cut through on fisheries, arguments lack focus.”

Meka Whaitiri: 2/10

“Many outside of Parliament have never heard of her. Needs to change this, or she’ll be forgotten inside Parliament as well”. 

Ruth Dyson: 3/10

“Still lurching along, she’s rejuvenation material but doesn’t look like going. Labour won’t pick a fight over it. Good debater, competent chair of Government Administration Select Committee.”

Iain Lees-Galloway: 3/10

“One of the boys who makes the noise, not all of it worth much but he didn’t miss many opportunities. Strong debater, although he descends into diatribes.”

There’s a bit of a mix there, but 3/5 Maori and 3/5 women. Are any of those ratings unjustified? Have any of those MPs impressed?

Perhaps this is what peeved some Greens:

Green Party co-leader James Shaw: 6/10

“The smart half of the co-leadership. Shaw has the rare talent of thinking before he opens his mouth. Comfortable with the media across a broad spectrum of issues.” 

The Metiria fan club won’t have liked that. Two MPs can co-lead, but you can’t make them drink the same Kool-Aid.

Trans Tasman’s MP ratings

Trans Tasman has publi their 2016 MP ratings. These are under subscription but Stacey Kirk has some of their more notable scores in  ‘Our best and worst MPs: Quiet achiever Amy Adams takes top gong


  • Amy Adams 8.5
    “She’s had an outstanding year as Justice Minister. She’s handled a huge workload with calm and confidence, and through it she’s been media-friendly, unflappable and accessible.”
    (see MP of the year – Amy Adams)
  • John Key 8.5Key’s “extraordinary media schedule”, may have seen a more subdued Prime Minister, “no one questions his vital importance to winning a fourth term”. 
  • Bill English 8.5English’s “vast experience” had given much the same quiet confidence Adams was now finding, which mean English had “the ability to take the heat out of issues that threaten to run out of control”. 
  • Murray McCully 8.0Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had “huge year on the foreign affairs front”, particularly with the UN Security Council. But if it wasn’t for the Saudi sheep deal, he may have scored higher.
  • Chris Finlayson 7.5
    Due to his treaty negotiations.

At the bottom:

  • Sam Lotu-Iiga 4.5
    “needs to be faster on his feet”
  • Louise Upston 4.5
    “poor performer in the media”


  • Andrew Little 6.5
    – leadership was “solid”, which on it’s own meant he had a good year. The transTasman editors said he lost marks for sounding like union leader, rather than alternative Prime Minister. 
  • Kelvin Davis 6.5
    “cracked open the Serco scandal and made the most of it,” but had to be cautious about “going over the top”
  • Annette King 6.0
    “invaluable” deputy leader, who kept the caucus “and occasionally the leader”, in line
  • Phil Twyford 5.5
    He has a tendency to get “over the top”, and loose data based on the number of Auckland houses sold to people with Chinese- sounding names, does not make a story of overseas property speculation.It does make it impossibly hard for his leader and caucus colleagues to defend however, when allegations of xenophobia inevitably start flying.

No rating given but didn’t ‘fare as well’:

  • Jacinda Ardern
    “at risk of losing her lustre altogether”, “pleasant MP who smiles a lot”, but she had done little with her justice portfolio.
  • Grant Robertson
    Labour’s “strongest debater in the house”, but was failing to land any blows on English. “Must get traction in the finance portfolio”.

Robertson and Ardern went close to becoming Labour’s leadership team.

No MPs from other parties rated a mention from Kirk apart from: Winston Peters’ NZ First party to sap up the protest vote in any “Trump” style rebellion at next year’s election.

The NZ First vote probably tends to be more a vote against the others than a vote for them.

Trans Tasman’s party ratings

Trans Tasman have put out their 2016 political ratings. Stacey Kirk has some of their party ponderings in  ‘Our best and worst MPs: Quiet achiever Amy Adams takes top gong


The middle of a third term can be tough for a Government, but Prime Minister John Key’s has side-stepped the natural hubris and complacency that often sets in.

National have finished high on 50% in the latest Colmar Brunton poll. Next year’s election looks like theirs to lose, with the main question – as for the last two elections – is what parties they will need to top up their majority.


While Labour had achieved unity under leader Andrew Little, it was still struggling to find its place, having been shunted from the middle. 

And Labour have ended the year on 28%. Struggle is an apt description to an extent, but Labour also keep burning off ex-supporters who are now deemed un-Labour and too far too the right (which means centre).


They had “pretty much disappeared”.

James Shaw has been disappointing, and Metiria Turei and her supporters seems to rule the Green roost but has limited appeal outside the Green bubble.

Maori Party…

 …was “struggling for relevance”.

But they are doing something about it, working with Hone Harawira to try and take Labour on in the Maori seats, aiming to create a strong Maori bloc in Parliament.

The rest:

ACT and UnitedFuture “may as well not be considered parties at all”. 

That’s an inevitable view for one MP parties.

David Seymour is working hard to try and make an impression, but ACT need to come up with some top candidates next year to become a Parliamentary party again.

It’s hard to see United Future being seen anything other than Peter Dunne – he complained about his party status being ignored on Twitter yesterday, but his party is ignored by media.

MP of the year – Amy Adams

Trans Tasman has anointed Amy Adams as their MP of the year.

Stacey Kirk reports on their annual scorecard and ratings in ‘Quiet achiever’ Amy Adams takes top gong:

This year’s top politician might be a surprise at first blush, but it’s perhaps a reflection of the “quiet achiever” status transTasman has afforded her. 

Never flashy, Justice Minister Amy Adams gets the job done. And boy, is she efficient, says the publication.

“She’s had an outstanding year as Justice Minister. She’s handled a huge workload with calm and confidence, and through it she’s been media-friendly, unflappable and accessible. 

“Adams doesn’t look for headlines, but she got them for the calls she made on compensation for David Bain and Teina Pora.

“Those are the announcements she’ll be best remembered for during 2016, and they were just the tip of the iceberg”.

She had pushed more bills through Parliament than any other minister – “demonstrating the extent of her responsibilities and undertakings”. 

And many of those bills were significant, both in detail and consequences for some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people. 

Her work this year spans protection of family violence victims, an overhaul of the coronial system and dealing with the repercussions of a hardline Australian stance on detainees. 

Kirk adds in The good, the bad and the ugly: the political issues that shaped our MPs performances:

Justice Minister Amy Adams – dealt with two highly controversial issues this year; the compensation bids for wrongful imprisonment from both David Bain and Teina Pora.

Bain’s was rejected, but the Government paid close to $1m as an ex gratia payment to end all action. Pora received $2.5m in compensation for his wrongful imprisonment, but can and is challenging the Government over its calculations. 

Despite that, Adams’ calm and collected fronting of the issues took the political heat out (particularly with Bain), while Pora’s process now plays out away from the Beehive and back in the courts.

Two issues, neither of her own making, but requiring careful treading.

A Minister of Justice should be careful and considered.

This proves that you don’t have to be a flashy attention seeking show pony (or old stallion) to do well in Parliament. To the contrary. Leaders have to perform well in the media, it’s the nature of the game.

But good Ministers work hard on their jobs and actually defuse the attention when in the media spotlight. Bill English is another top performing example who keeps a low profile in the media.

Adams deservedly gets the top award for the year, based on her performance, and regardless of her ethnicity or her sex.

Does this make her a contender for next National Party leader? That’s a totally different skill set so it’s hard to say, but she must be one of the better options. However there is currently no vacancy.

Trans-Tasman: top MP David Seymour

In their annual assessment of MP performance Trans Tasman has named rookie ACT MP for Epsom David Seymour as their top MP for 2015.

David Seymour, Epsom – 8.5

Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister of Education and Minister of Regulatory Reform.

What a performance from Seymour. Given a free ride into the House, made leader of a rump party, no one expected much of him. He has proved them all wrong, and become a strong positive MP. He’s been everywhere and is a hard worker – a real surprise. If anyone can make ACT relevant again, it’s Seymour – he’s the man.

This doesn’t surprise me.

Seymour showed potential when I heard him speak at the Act Southern Conference in the middle of last year. I also spoke to him in person and initial impressions were positive.

He then did the hard yards and won Epsom to get a seat back for ACT in Parliament.

He then had to deal with establishing his electorate presence in Epsom, re-establish an ACT Party presence in Parliament, work with the Government and make a mark for himself.

He seems to have managed all of this admirably.

And he is young and hard working enough to do more, possibly far more.

ACT’s big challenge is to find some candidates to build on Seymour’s success.

More from Trans-Tasman:

2015 Politician Of The Year – David Seymour While not exactly a political novice – he has form in student politics, and stood unsuccessfully twice in Auckland seats before getting elected, as well as being an adviser to then ACT leader John Banks, 32 year old David Seymour is in his first term in Parliament, he is a novice as a party leader, and coalition member. The surprise is how well he has performed, and the degree to which he seems to have made ACT a potential vote winner again. Sure he made the odd “coq” up, but no more than many of his colleagues.

He has handled his work with dedication, he is “everywhere” and he is a genuine talent. ACT’s charter school policies could turn out to be one of the successes of the coalition in policy terms and his move to ensure bars could open during the Rugby World Cup showed how in touch he is with public thinking.

He gets the nod as politician of the year because he is at the vanguard of a new wave of politicians – starting with a back to basics approach both in electorate and Parliamentary work.

He’s doing what a minor party should do under MMP – giving support, but making the Govt’s life difficult as well, and he is also doing it tactically. He has proven he can master the Parliamentary bun fight, now he needs to show he can make his party relevant.


Trans Tasman: best and worst of Labour

Stuff reports on Trans Tasman’s annual assessment of political performances in Trans-Tasman roll call – the best and worst of the 2015 political year.

Here are Labour MP assessments and ratings.

Labour fares little better, with transTasman saying it is still reeling from electoral defeat and Andrew Little’s ascension to the top job.

“He is battling to get his caucus behind him and to an extent has succeeded, but there are still many in the party’s ranks who should be looking to their futures – Clayton Cosgrove, David Cunliffe, David Parker and Trevor Mallard should all be looking for new jobs.”

Top five – Labour

Annette King – 6.5/10

Struggles to shake off the mantle of the 90s but is still a dominant force in the party. Labour will need her experience heading into a tough election in 2017.

Andrew Little – 6/10

Making a good first of the leadership, getting his MPs on side and on message. Still not using all his MPs strengths to full advantage. Polls need to move quickly and needs better advice.

Kelvin Davis – 6/10

Gets up the PM’s nose and has a social conscience… ready to be thrown into the attack and relishing it.

Chris Hipkins – 6/10

If Labour ever gets back into power, he will be at the top table.

Phil Twyford 6/10

Another of the young Labour stars who has worked his heart out on housing and transport issues. Deserves a big role in the next Labour Government.

Bottom five – Labour

Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene – 2/10

Another MP going nowhere fast. No prospect of advancement.

Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson – 2/10

Another Labour MP on her last legs. Needs to move on.

Mangere MP Su’a William Sio -2.5/10

His role is to deliver the Pacific Island vote and as long as he is there he probably will

List MP Clayton Cosgrove, Mana MP Kris Faafoi, Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare, List MP Sue Moroney, Manukau East MP Jenny Salesa, Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri  – 3/10

Cosgrove is “a shadow of his old self” and on the outer – probably time to go, says trans-Tasman. Of the others, it says Faafoi had promise, but is yet to deliver, Moroney has worked hard but “it’s not enough”, Salesa has talent but hasn’t shown it and Henare has had no memorable moments so far.

As for National their deputy ranks ahead of Labour’s leader, showing how important a capable deputy leader is.

No sign of Jacinda Ardern in the top five (nor the bottom ranks). She is rated 5/10:

Has done a good job of corralling the Auckland youth vote. Too close to Grant Robertson to have Deputy Leader aspirations. Didn’t deserve “pretty little thing” comment, but hasn’t exactly mastered her shadow portfolios. Still polled as 4th best preferred PM.

Grant Robertson should be worried about his rating, down from 6.5 to 4.

Floundering in the finance role, with generalised comments exposing his lack of knowledge. Isn’t making the traction he should and is relying on his cronies like David Clark too much to fill in the gaps. Not doing his party any favours.

It’s notable that for a party that puts some importance on gender balance apart from King who seems to be there for her long experience and ability to keep the caucus out of mishief the rest of the top performers are all male.

There’s more gender equality in the bottom perfomers.

It should be a major concern for Labour that their are 9 MPs rated 2-3 out of 10. That’s nearly a third of their caucus. The rest just about all have to make the shadow Cabinet being announced today.

Only 7 Labour MPs rate 5 or better. That’s also a major concern.

Trans-Tasman 2015 MP roll call

Click to access Roll%20Call%202015.pdf

Click to access Roll%20Call%202015.pdf

Trans Tasman: best and worst of National

Stuff reports on Trans Tasman’s annual assessment of political performances in Trans-Tasman roll call – the best and worst of the 2015 political year.

Here are National MP ratings.

National is starting to suffer third termitis, and some of its minister’s are burnt out. That’s the view of transTasman, which has just released its annual roll call, the publication MPs look forward to with equal parts excitement and dread.

National is showing signs of third-termitis and senior ministers like Gerry Brownlee and Murray McCully are looking tired, out of sorts, or burnt out.

“Some are looking to the future – [Speaker] David Carter looks as though he will be pleased to relinquish the Speaker’s chair for a Knighthood and a cushy foreign posting, where he will no longer have to be selectively deaf, while Tim Groser will also be looking forward to an ambassadorial posting”.

Top Five – National

Finance Minister Bill English –  8/10

“A foundation for the Government’s ongoing success. Dependable and canny as always, finally getting the books back into the black, even if only for a short time, has been a big deal for him. The power behind the throne.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully 8/10

“He has been a virtual blur this year, rushing through so many countries and doing so much. Failed to secure Middle East peace though. A strong year for the man, which has ended in a hospital bed. He made a massive effort.”

Prime Minister John Key – 7.5/10

Takes a tumble from last year’s rating of 9.5. His popularity is undented, despite ponytail gate and other controversies…..The flag debate may deflate his ego but he is still far and away New Zealand’s most popular leader.”

Justice Minister Amy Adams – 7.5/10

“We said she would be one to watch and she has added to that impression with strong performances across all her portfolios.”

Trade Minister Tim Groser – 7.5/10

“Another minister who has had a huge year and weathered some storms. He is expected to leave soon for a less pressured environment.”

Bottom five – National

List MP Paul Foster-Bell – 2/10

“Last year we suggested he sharpen up his act. He hasn’t.”

Taranaki MP Barbara Kuriger – 2/10

Says she wants ot help promote regional growth. Her own area is doing well but it’s clear she hasn’t had much impact anywhere else.”

List MP Melissa Lee- 2/10
“Probably should be considering another career. Her bus has well and truly pulled out.”

Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith – 2/10

Replaced an MP who was a waste of space, but proving he’s better is tough as well, says transTasman.

Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, Rodney MP Mark Mitchell, List MP Brett Hudson and List MP Nuk Korako – all on 2.5/10

On Simpson, transTasman says: “Can’t seem to get anyone’s attention outside the committee he chairs”. On Mitchell, they say:  “Another holder of a safe seat. A good example of why we should consider fixed terms for MPs.” Hudson: “We said he would have to prove he is anything more than a lightweight. So far still punching at his expected level.” Korako: A man considered genial by most, who has done nothing to change anyone’s opinion.

I think Bill England has been National’s most consistent and probably most valuable performer.

I don’t know about Murray McCully, he is out of sight most of the time, apart from the Saudi Farm debacle which should have marked him down substantially. He was lucky to survive in his job.

It will be hard for new National back benchers to make an impression amongst such a large caucus.

Trans-Tasman 2015 MP roll call

More on Norman versus Trans Tasman and Fairfax

Russel Norman had a hissy at Fairfax yesterday for publishing Trans Tasman MP ratings, especially of Cath Delahunty. See Russel Norman versus Trans Tasman.

David Farrar also comments on this in Norman attacking the media:

So we have a party leader publicly berating a journalist because the journalist wrote a story on the ratings. Really? Isn’t this what a certain other party leader used to do in the 1970s? As for the smearing of Trans-Tasman as “far right” (a term used in Europe to describe neo-nazis), that’s idiotic. Certainly it is a business publication and like the NBR has an editorial tone that is pro-business. But it is no more “far right” than Radio NZ is “far left”.

There are lots of ratings different people will have different views on. You would expect a party leader to say he disagrees with the ratings for his MPs. But to smear the newsletter as “far right” and berate a Fairfax journalist for daring to do a story on it is a form of bullying.

Attempted bullying.

Now he is hysterically claiming the newsletter “hates” his MP” because she is so effective, and is instructing the journalist to print his words.

But this isn’t so much about the rankings, but Norman’s behaviour. In the last two weeks we’ve had:

  • Norman lambasting a journalist for writing a story he didn’t like and demanding he print his views on his own MPs
  • Norman smearing a media newsletter as “far right”
  • Norman barging past the PM doing a media stand up and shrieking “Resign” at him
  • Norman using the 2014 post election review conference to effectively blame the SIS for the left losing the 2011 election

I should’t give free advice, but I think such behaviour is a big turn off. It’s an ugly look. He could have made a case for the Trans-Tasman ratings being too harsh on some of his MPs, without doing it as an attack on the media.

The pressure of a hard three years followed by a frustrating election campaign are taking a toll.

The next two lowest ranked Greens were men.

Steffan Browning 2.5
David Clendon 3.0 (equal with Jan Logie)

That seems reasonably gender balanced – not that gender should figure in performance ratings.

Norman didn’t complain about both him and Kevin Hague being rated higher than Metiria Turei.

And it’s not just Norman.

Danyl expanded on the Green attack at Dim Post.

Stuff has a cut’npaste story up on the TransTasman newsletter’s annual rankings of MPs, a yearly ritual in which a bunch of elderly right-wing journalists pour praise on their favorite right-wing politicians and scorn on their most despised left-wing enemies. Whatever.

But what struck me reading through the rankings is that there seemed like a big difference in scores between male and female MPs irrespective of any left-wing/right wing bias. Even female National MPs I rated quite highly were ranked lower than totally undistinguished male Nats. And it’s even worse for Maori, who all seem arbitrarily low regardless of party, or how well they perform.

The data breaks down like this: Average score for a Male Pakeha MP in the Transtasman ranking is 5.4. Males overall have an average ranking of 5.1. Pakeha overall average 5.1. Maori are way lower than Pakeha with average rankings of 4.6. Female MPs are way lower with an average ranking of 4.4. If you compile the rankings for Labour and the Greens, the men get an average ranking of 5.2, but the women are dragging them down with an average ranking of 4.4.

Here’s a list of the TransTasman writers. I’m informed that the sole contributors are the authors listed at the bottom of the report. You might not be shocked to learn that they are all white men. But what that means is that TransTasman’s inequality in their rankings and staggering bias towards Pakeha males has nothing to do with identity politics. See, identity politics is just something the left does to privilege women or Maori.

It’s a form of political correctness gone mad in which people value gender or ethnicity over actual merit, but when white guys get privileged, or when we coincidentally overwhelmingly favor other members of our race and gender that’s definitely nothing to do with identity politics. Or racism or misogyny. It’s always just because we all deserve it. Shame on you for doubting the analysis of the impartial, objective white guys at TransTasman!

He sounds as frustrated and bitter as Norman. As do some of the ranks at Dim-Post.

They can’t just disagree and offer their own ratings. Instead they attack the messengers.

If Fairfax took Norman’s advise and didn’t publish anything that could be seen as politically leaning then Green PR would be at least as verboten as Trans Tasman.

Russel Norman versus Trans Tasman

Russel Norman took exception to the Trans Tasman ranking of Green MP Cath Delahunty. They rated her a 2/10, down from last year’s 3, and commented:

A brighter year, she’s had plenty to say about education and more recently human rights – from a hard left perspective, of course.

Trans Tasman have a right leaning perspective.

On Stuff’s Beehvive Live they report Norman tweeting:

Hey @oneforthedr why promote Trans Tasman far right assessment of MPs’ performance in Dompost?

For the record @greencatherine is doing a great job as an MP, that’s WHY TransTasman hate her @oneforthedr . Print that.

Rating isn’t hating.

Delahunty was at 4 on the Green list in 2011. She was down a couple places at 6 this year.

Hamish Rutherford (@oneforthedr) returned Norman’s serve.

Poor old Russel Norman is clearly a little upset at our reporting of the Trans Tasman annual roll call.  It would almost be odd if he didn’t stand up for his colleagues (Catherine Delahunty scored two out of 10), and he has a point that the annual ranking of Trans Tasman is broadly sympathetic to the right, and especially the right of the Labour Party.

Norman’s answer to this? To moan on social media about how we should print what a co-leader thinks about one of his lower ranked MPs. Nice try. Say whatever you want about a publication, the Trans-Tasman rankings have been going for a decade and involve a lot of work. If the left want to establish something equivalent that lasts the test of time, I dare say we would print it.

Perhaps he’s as ready for the Christmas holidays as the rest of us are. But thanks for the mentions Russel – it got me a few new followers on Twitter.

Trans Tasman serve their own market, and that’s obviously not Green inclined.

Should Stuff/Dominion Post not publish something because it’s deemed “a far right assessment” by a party leader from the far left?

If so they shouldn’t publish any PR churned out by the Green Party. That’s at least as politically slanted.

Have a good break Russel.

Trans Tasman: Key ‘head and shoulders above rest’

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.

A warning:

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?”


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