Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Sludge Report #166 – 2004 Parliamentary Awards

NOTE: Authors of this report will be anonymous and wide ranging, and occasionally finely balanced. Indeed you are invited to contribute: The format is as a reporters notebook. It will be published as and when material is available. C.D. Sludge can be contacted at The Sludge Report is available as a free email service..Click HERE - to subscribe...

Sludge Report #166

Scoop's 2004 Parliamentary Awards

The following awards recognise New Zealand Members of Parliament for their notable achievements and notable gaffes during the course of 2004. They were decided by a panel of experts and the judges' decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into. For the avoidance of doubt certificates will not be issued to recipients.

Politician of the year – Helen Clark

For serenely rising above the political melee for most of the year, swiftly dispatching any miscreant ministers, and ending the year in a commanding position with all her i's dotted and t's crossed ready to win a third general election as Leader of the Labour Party.

Minister of the year – Michael Cullen

For maintaining large surpluses, doling out a considerable amount of dosh to the middle classes and having the National Party finally concede that his Super plan for the baby boomers will indeed be the centrepiece of NZ economic policy for the next five decades.

Shadow Minister of the year – John Key

For sounding like he's having a party all day every day.

Backbencher of the year – Tim Barnett

For proving that at least one Labour backbencher actually does something.

Opposition backbencher of the year – Ron Mark

For not putting on airs for the media and just being himself, full of energy, frothy and deeply in touch with his likes and dislikes.

Consciences of the year – Keith Locke & Matt Robson

For consistently championing what are unpopular causes in the rather stifling halls of power such as Ahmed Zaoui, the war against the war on terror and in Iraq, civil and political rights (in particular the right of prisoners to sue if abused in prison). Whilst Messrs Robson and Locke's views are often derided in Parliament, this shows just how out of touch most politicians are rather than these dynamic defenders of human rights.

Most effective effort in career reengineering – Margaret Wilson

For stepping so deftly out of the limelight early in the year positioning herself perfectly to take on the role of NZ's first woman speaker.

… also…

Biggest legal flip flop of the year – Margaret Wilson

For publicly stating that the Government would not be appealing the Court of Appeal decision on Ahmed Zaoui's human rights on the grounds that the decision appeared very clear, and then promptly announcing that they would be.

The Enoch Powell commendation for oratory – Don Brash

For the most memorable speech of the year.


The Strom Thurmond memorial trophy – Don Brash

For the most effective use of appeals to the red neck agenda to achieve political aims.

… also…

The Kodak moment award – Don Brash

For being caught on camera receiving a mud pie, and remaining calm throughout.

Special award for having an AWOL conscience – Lockwood Smith

For explaining that for him to vote against the Civil Unions Bill - as he did against Homosexual law reform - would be a kick in the guts for the gay community, and then proceeding to do just that.

The Enron/ accounting award – National's Finance/Justice Team

For proposing a criminal justice policy which might quite possibly cost upwards of $2 billion without any apparent thought of where this money would come from, or whether it might be better spent elsewhere.

The Stagecoach award for being run over by a very obvious oncoming bus - Paul Swain & Phil Goff

For being caught flat footed in the wake of the National Party's abolishing parole criminal justice policy in spite of the fact that it had been telegraphed for months.

Most graceful fall from lofty heights – Bill English

For maintaining poise and energy and taking the battle back to Mallard in the face of relatively recent extreme political humiliation.

Canadian Mounties commendation for getting his woman – Richard Prebble

For pursuing Donna Awatere-Huata far beyond the call of duty, against the wishes of most of his colleagues, and in the end succeeding in his quest.

The Rupert Murdoch media management trophy – Tony Ryall

For misusing the force that is the media consistently for his own beat-ups and with amazing consistency. Throughout 2004 one could rely on National's Tony Ryall to grab a difficult issue and go for the headlines regardless of the consequences – whether it was prisoners being abused, refugees being out of work or teens having sex. Whilst others, notably NZ First's Dail Jones, pushed hard for this award, Mr Ryall wins hand down because he does know better.

Homer Simpson award for decisive thinking - Nanaia Mahuta & Georgina Beyer

For making up their mind so quickly and decisively over the question of the Foreshore and Seabed bill.

The Pitbull Breeders belt for dogged determination – Katherine Rich

For savaging the Community and Employment Group of the DOL and then not letting go of the carcass.

The Emperor's New Clothes award for pointing out the blindingly obvious – Jeanette Fitzsimons

For finally pushing the Peak Oil debate onto the national political stage.

The Winston Peters waka jumping baton – Tariana Turia

For principled and timely use of a resignation letter, and a spectacular by-election victory.

Most disingenuous use of an interjection – David Benson-Pope

For remarking "get on a plane" during a question on the status of refugee Ahmed Zaoui.

Caught out in the deep award - Lianne Dalziel

For a poorly delivered spin relating to chucking a Sri-Lankan. Dalziel had her press secretary leak some lawyers notes to the Press Gallery on a Sri-Lankan girl who was seeking refuge from sexual abuse in NZ (In the notes the lawyer indicated that going public with her story would be part of their strategy) – and then lied about the leak to the house. A move that led swiftly to her resignation.

The Robin Hood award for marksmanship during question time – Judith Collins

For asking the question that ultimately led Lianne Dalziel to her downfall.

The Fish & Chips award - Winston Peters

For fishing Labour out of a hole when the chips were down over the foreshore and seabed.

The CIR's special commendation for services to the IRD– Rodney Hide

For uncovering unpaid taxes at the Waipareira trust.

For an injury in the line of duty whilst performing services for diplomacy - Dail Jones

For mistiming a hook off an Aussie diplomat's fast delivery during a charity cricket match, taking a blow to the head and consequently a ride to hospital.

The General Custer trophy for innovation in defence policy - Simon Power

For announcing in a speech that under National NZ would follow the US, UK and Australia into conflict "unreservedly" and promptly losing his defence spokesmanship.

***** ENDS ******

Anti©opyright Sludge 2004

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news