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Brownlee Takes Out Top Spot In Trans Tasman Roll Call

For Immediate Release (Trans Tasman Roll Call PDF attached)

Brownlee Takes Out Top Spot In Trans Tasman Roll Call

9AM - Thursday 15 December - Christchurch earthquake Tsar Gerry Brownlee, the man who is credited for virtually singlehandedly turning the once Labour stronghold of the Garden City into a sea of Party Vote Blue in the election, has been named politician of the year by Trans Tasman's Roll Call, NZ's number one political newsweekly's annual ranking of the nation's MPs.

Of Brownlee Trans Tasman says - "Without big party-vote majorities in several traditional Labour electorates in and around Christchurch, National might have fallen behind the aggregate vote of the parties aligned against it. The man at the centre of this achievement is Gerry Brownlee." Brownlee follows in the recent tradition of members of the majority Party in the House taking out the politician of the year accolade, although this year it was a close run thing with the Green's Russel Norman snapping at Brownlee's heels.

Brownlee turned in a 9 out of 10 performance, equalling leader John Key and just ahead of deputy leader Bill English on 8.5.

National, which was dominant in the polls all year also dominates the Roll Call scorecard. 17 National MPs improved their ranking on last year, while 15 performed worse. 17 MPs kept the same score as they did last year.

16 of its MPs gained a score over 5.

Worst performing Nats were Colin King and Melissa Lee on 2. Of King Trans Tasman says "really needs to do more." And Lee "this might be as good as it gets."

For Labour the top score was a fairly mediocre 6, reflecting the party's poor polling and sub-standard election result. The top score was shared by Phil Goff, David Cunliffe, David Parker and Grant Robertson.

Of Goff Trans Tasman says "he did fail to connect with enough voters, but most of them had the phone off the hook." Cunliffe - "rarely tested Bill English in Parliament, but at least held his own." Parker - "his move to Auckland showed he has one eye on the future." Robertson - "affable and clever, one of Labour's future leadership team once the old guard finally accept their day is gone."

For Labour 8 MPs improved their scores, 16 went down and 6 stayed on the same score as last year. The Party welcomed 4 new faces who are not ranked. 13 Labour MPs rated a score of 5 or better.

The Greens did not perform as well as their poll numbers suggested they would although Russel Norman managed a respectable 8. Trans Tasman says he "has taken the Greens to the edge of actually wielding some power, up to them now whether they take it."

Of the other parties, none of ACT's Caucus from last year remain in the House to be ranked. United Future's Peter Dunne went down from 5,5 to 5, the Maori Party's three surviving MPs all had their scores reduced, although to their credit they were all over 5, and the Mana Party's Hone Harawira lifted his score from last year's dismal 2 with the Maori Party, to a respectable 5.

None of NZ First's 8 MPs were able to be ranked as none were in the house in 2011.

Other notable achievements:

Biggest mover up was Russel Norman, the Green's co-leader jumping from 5 last year to 8 this year.

Biggest mover down was Labour's Rajen Prasad, who goes from 4-1, and of whom Trans Tasman asks - "why was he so high on the Labour list?"

This year the newcomers to Parliament have been commented on for the first time in a Roll Call, based on what Trans Tasman knows of them and what to expect from them.

Some are figures who have made their names in other fields. Andrew Williams enters Parliament for NZ First after being North Shore City mayor. Of him Trans Tasman says "has potential to embarrass the party one day. He wants to do things his way already. Said to have a huge temper problem."

Maggie Barry has entered Parliament for National after a career as a garden programme host on TV. Of her Trans Tasman says "rated by old school Nats, but potential to do her own thing may cause tears before bedtime. 'Diva.'"


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