Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


"Action Man" Finlayson Takes Trans Tasman’s Top Honour


Embargoed: 9am Monday December 3rd 2012

"Action Man" Finlayson Takes Trans Tasman’s Top Honour

Rises To The Top In Sea Of Mediocrity

The Trans Tasman Editors had a tough job with this year’s Roll Call (see attached PDF), now in its 8th year. To whom would the accolade “Politician of the Year” be awarded? It was a year where National and Labour stumbled along seemingly more intent on self harm than doing their jobs effectively. This meant Trans Tasman’s eight panellists found the task more difficult than usual, and their comments showed the way some of our MPs had made an impact in the past 12 months, not always good…

Of Chris Finlayson: “He’s a National Party Minister, he’s given away a national park to Maori, and no-one seems to mind much. That’s pretty good going.”

On Russel Norman: “He has kept the Greens up in the polls - higher now than on election night - widened the party’s policy platform far beyond “greenie” issues, outclassed David Shearer as an opposition leader and used the media far more effectively to push his party’s message. As John Key said “Russel Norman is eating David Shearer’s lunch.”

On John Banks: “He has overseen the complete destruction of a political party”

Louisa Wall was considered for “for getting more debate and air time over any single issue.”

And David Cunliffe entered the discussion after he “ensured his ambition and ego kept him in the headlines and Labour as a weakened political party.”

But when the votes were counted, Attorney-General Chris Finlayson’s outstanding work in pushing through Treaty of Waitangi settlement Bills and deals, and his growing reputation as a safe pair of hands got him the nod. His increasing stature as a politician and member of the inner circle was evident when John Key passed responsibility for the Department of Labour to him after Kate Wilkinson stepped down.
He was also charged with the role of informing the Pike River families of the outcome of the Royal Commission into the mining tragedy. He had been viewed as a back-room person, interested in the arts and on the fringe of the Government. He has now been pulled into a more overt political role, to go with his increasing confidence in the House.
As for others in Ministerial ranks, John Key and Bill English both slipped in what has been a poor year for the Key administration, as second term blues began to haunt it.

Last year’s Politician of the Year, Gerry Brownlee slipped from 9 out of 10 to 7.5 as the pressures of trying to rebuild Christchurch started to tell. He lost points for his lack of visibility in the Transport portfolio.

Hekia Parata has had an awful year. She falls from 6.5 to 2 out of 10 after a series of gaffes, and “it looks as though she has moved past the point of her competence in the education portfolio.”

Paula Bennett goes up, “greatly admired as the former beneficiary cracking down on welfare recipients.” Murray McCully’s role in the botched reform of MFAT, and his eye off the ball performance as the Govt’s “master political strategist” sees his score go from 8 to 6.5.

Kate Wilkinson’s bad year is recognised with a drop in her score from 4 to 3 and the comment “Key rated her highly when he appointed her - he might now be wishing he hadn’t.”

Of the Ministers outside Cabinet Chester Borrows is the pick, lifting his score from 6 to 6.5, and described as being “ready to step up the next level.”

Among the support party Ministers Peter Dunne rules the roost, boosting his score from 5 to 6.5. He “handled the pressure of being painted as the key vote in what is a knife edge Parliamentary majority.”

Also in the support party Minister’s category is this year’s low scorer, ACT’s John Banks. He rates 0 out of 10, for overseeing the utter destruction of ACT’s brand. “scandals and police investigations over donations have left his political reputation in tatters…essentially now National’s 60th MP and a lame duck one at that.”

Banks seemed incapable of learning the lessons taught him by his experience as Auckland’s Mayor and rather than entering this Parliament as a senior statesman full of experience and subtlety, he simply pushed the self destruct button.

Stepping across to Labour’s front bench, no-one has really covered themselves in glory. David Parker is one of the few who managed to lift his score, but it comes with barbs attached. “Should leave the wacky stuff to the Greens and assert himself in putting together some coherent economic policies.”

Another to boost his score was Trevor Mallard, from 5 to 5.5 - “As shadow leader of the House he has had a huge influence on the passage of legislation.”

Phil Goff’s statesmanlike performance and ability to play grown up politics, while the rest seem stuck in the 6th form common room, sees his score go from 6 to 6.5.

On the back benches Chris Hipkins and Darien Fenton boosted their scores, along with Clare Curran who gets marks for “visibility and indefatigability.” Kris Faafoi and Louisa Wall both pushed their scores in the right direction, while Ross Robertson gets points for his performance as Assistant Speaker, jumping from 3.5 to 5.

The Greens mostly held their ground. Co-leader Russel Norman holds onto his score of 8 from last year, gaining the respect of the panel for his work as what amounts to de-facto leader of the opposition. “Looks and sounds like the leader of a much larger, more mainstream party.”

The NZ First MPs all score less than 5, except leader Winston Peters, who picks up a 6 and “has shown Labour how to do opposition politics - snipe away, dig up scandal and snap at the heels of the Government at every opportunity.” Loses marks for not having a succession plan for the party, which remains a creature of his “albeit larger than life personality.”

As for the numbers, of National’s 59 MPs, 20 boosted their score, 18 went down, and 11 stayed the same. 29 of the 59 had scores of 5 or above. 10 MPs could not be compared with last year as they were new entrants.

In Labour’s ranks 9 MPs boosted their score, 12 went down and 8 stayed the same. 12 of 34 had scores of 5 or better. 5 new entrants could not be compared with last year.

Of the Maori Party’s three MPs, two went down, while one went up, all had scores over 5.

The Greens managed 2 higher scores, 2 lower scores, 3 stayed the same and just 2 rated 5 or better. 7 of their MPs were unable to be compared with last year.

For NZ First none of the 8 could be compared with last year and just one had a score better than 5.


http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1212/Roll_Call_2012.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news