MPs occupations

April 24th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Blackland PR has looked at the backgrounds of our 121 MPs:

The study, by political researcher Geoffrey Miller and public relations expert Mark Blackham, researched and compared the career histories of all 121 Members of the current Parliament.

They found that business owners, agriculturalists and unionists have a falling share of voice in their traditional parties, and have been replaced by people with no specific career interests, or careers limited to government and politics.

Miller said 23% of National MPs had experience working in a business, and only 10% of Labour MPs had worked in a union.

“National is no longer dominated by business experience and Labour no longer by unions.

“In fact, the whole of Parliament is now dominated by generalists, people of no specific experience, and government specialists – people whose only experience is working for government or in politics.

This is not a good trend – the rise of the professional political class.


I’ve compiled this table from their data. The percentages add up to over 100% as some MPs have had multiple careers.

Threats to MPs

May 8th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The pay may be good, but many of our MPs face death threats and attacks on their homes, staff and families.

A study based on an anonymous survey of 102 sitting MPs found nearly all of them had been subjected to unwanted harassment. More than one in 10 had been assaulted, and a similar number had been stalked, or had received deaths threats.

One in three had suffered property damage at the hands of angry constituents, and half had been physically confronted by their harassers. Most had been harassed more than once.

Sadly this study doesn’t surprise me. Quite a few mentally ill people get obsessed with an MP, or MPs, and bizarre threatening things.

When I worked in the PMs Office, I would often see crazy letters alleging various MPs were aliens etc. I actually wanted to collate them and publish a book of the 100 craziest letters sent to MPs.

One received 1080 poison in the mail, another had their back door smashed and a bullet thrown through the window of their family home, terrifying their daughter and partner.

Attacks have involved a gun, a molotov cocktail, sticks and placards.

The authors of the study have called for better monitoring of threats to MPs, warning they are often lightning rods for a small group of severely mentally ill people who pose a serious risk to the public at large.


Conservation and Housing Minister Nick Smith has endured several death threats. In 2005, someone blew up his caravan with a molotov cocktail, while his young children were inside the family house nearby.

“My daughter had a lot of nightmares at the time, it was pretty dramatic,” he said.

“It’s one of those things that discourages people from choosing a career in the public light.”

He has also been threatened by people saying they would attack his family with a chainsaw, and poison his children with 1080.

I recall in the mid 90s a pharmaceutical lobby group ran an aggressive campaign against the Government over drug funding policies, with ads exhorting people claiming people would die and urging letters to the then Health Minister. Some of those letters were vile, including a threat to inject his children with AIDs.


2012:  A Canterbury earthquake refugee living at Waikanae Beach was charged with threatening to kill Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and an unnamed parliamentary staffer.

2011:  A Palmerston North man was found guilty of threatening to kill Prime Minister John Key and his wife. The diagnosed schizophrenic said he would become a suicide bomber and blow the PM up because he was “attempting to poison everyone”.

2009:  Key’s Helensville electorate office was attacked with a firebomb, and a staff member’s car was deliberately damaged.

2007: Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove’s life threatened on a website after he said he would crack down on boy racers.

2007:  Green MP Sue Bradford received a death threat over her anti-smacking bill.

2005: National MP Nick Smith’s caravan was destroyed in a molotov cocktail attack.

The threats are bad enough, but the attacks by firebombs are of course even worse.

The 2014 MPs

September 21st, 2014 at 7:42 am by David Farrar

On the provisional results these are the 121 MPs of the 51st New Zealand Parliament

National – 61 seats, 41 electorates, 20 list

  1. Auckland Central – Nikki Kaye
  2. Bay of Plenty – Todd Muller
  3. Botany – Jami-Lee Ross
  4. Christchurch Central – Nicky Wagner
  5. Clutha-Southland – Todd Barclay
  6. Coromandel – Scott Simpson
  7. East Coast – Anne Tolley
  8. East Coast Bays – Murray McCully
  9. Hamilton East – David Bennett
  10. Hamilton West – Tim Macindoe
  11. Helensville – John Key
  12. Hunua – Andrey Bayly
  13. Ilam – Gerry Brownlee
  14. Invercargill – Sarah Dowie
  15. Kaikoura – Stuart Smith
  16. Maungakiekie – Pesata Sam Lotu-Iiga
  17. Nelson – Nick Smith
  18. New Plymouth – Jonathan Young
  19. Northcote – Jonathan Coleman
  20. Northland – Mike Sabin
  21. North Shore – Maggie Barry
  22. Otaki – Nathan Guy
  23. Pakuranga – Maurice Williamson
  24. Papakua – Judith Collins
  25. Rangitata – Jo Goodhew
  26. Rangitikei – Ian McKelvie
  27. Rodney – Mark Mitchell
  28. Rotorua – Todd McClay
  29. Selwyn – Amy Adams
  30. Tamaki – Simon O’Connor
  31. Taranaki-King Country – Barbara Kuriger
  32. Taupo – Louise Upston
  33. Tauranga – Simon Bridges
  34. Tukituki – Craig Foss
  35. Upper Harbour – Paula Bennett
  36. Waikato – Lindsay Tisch
  37. Waimakariri – Matthew Doocey
  38. Wairarapa – Alastair Scott
  39. Waitaki – Jacqui Dean
  40. Whangarei – Shane Reti
  41. Whanganui – Chester Borrows
  42. List 1 – Bill English
  43. List 2 – David Carter
  44. List 3 – Steven Joyce
  45. List 4 – Hekia Parata
  46. List 5 – Chris Finlayson
  47. List 6 – Tim Groser
  48. List 7 – Michael Woodhouse
  49. List 8 – Paul Goldsmith
  50. List 9 – Melissa Lee
  51. List 10 – Kanwal Bakshi
  52. List 11 – Jian Yang
  53. List 12 – Alfred Ngaro
  54. List 13 – Brett Hudson
  55. List 14 – Paul Foster-Bell
  56. List 15 – Jo Hayes
  57. List 16 – Parmjeet Parmar
  58. List 17 – Chris Bishop
  59. List18 – Nuk Korako
  60. List 19 – Jono Naylor
  61. List 20 – Maureen Pugh

Labour – 32 seats, 27 electorates, 5 list

  1. Christchurch East – Poto Williams
  2. Dunedin North – David Clark
  3. Dunedin South – Clare Curran
  4. Hauraki-Waikato – Nanaia Mahuta
  5. Hutt South – Trevor Mallard
  6. Ikaroa-Rawhiti – Meka Whaitiri
  7. Kelston – Carmel Sepuloni
  8. Mana – Kris Faafoi
  9. Mangere – Su’a William Sio
  10. Manukau East – Jenny Salesa
  11. Manurewa – Louisa Wall
  12. Mt Albert – David Shearer
  13. Mt Roskill – Phil Goff
  14. Napier – Stuart Nash
  15. New Lynn – David Cunliffe
  16. Palmerston North – Iain Lees-Galloway
  17. Port Hills – Ruth Dyson
  18. Rimutaka – Chris Hipkins
  19. Rongotai – Annette King
  20. Tamaki Makaurau – Peeni Henare
  21. Te Atatu – Phil Twyford
  22. Te Tai Hauauru – Adrian Rurawhe
  23. Te Tai Tonga – Rino Tirikatene
  24. Te Tai Tokerau – Kelvin Davis
  25. West Coast-Tasman – Damien O’Connor
  26. Wellington Central – Grant Robertson
  27. Wigram – Megan Woods
  28. List 1 – David Parker
  29. List 2 – Jacinda Ardern
  30. List 3 – Clayton Cosgrove
  31. List 4 – Sue Moroney
  32. List 5 – Andrew Little

Greens – 13 seats, 13 list

  1. List 1 – Metiria Turei
  2. List 2 – Russel Norman
  3. List 3 – Kevin Hague
  4. List 4 – Eugenie Sage
  5. List 5 – Gareth Hughes
  6. List 6 – Catherine Delahunty
  7. List 7 – Kennedy Graham
  8. List 8 – Julie Anne Genter
  9. List 9 – Mojo Mathers
  10. List 10 – Jan Logie
  11. List 11 – David Clendon
  12. List 12 – James Shaw
  13. List 13 – Denise Roche

NZ First – 11 seats, 11 list

  1. List 1 – Winston Peters
  2. List 2 – Tracey Martin
  3. List 3 – Richard Prosser
  4. List 4 – Fletcher Tabuteau
  5. List 5 – Barbara Stewart
  6. List 6 – Clayton Mitchell
  7. List 7 – Denis O’Rourke
  8. List 8 – Pita Paraone
  9. List 9 – Ron Mark
  10. List 10 – Darroch Ball
  11. List 11 – Mahesh Bindra

Maori Party – 2 seats, 1 electorate, 1 list

  1. Waiariki – Te Ururoa Flavell
  2. List 1 – Marama Fox

ACT – 1 seat, 1 electorate

  1. Epsom – David Seymour

United Future – 1 seat, 1 electorate

  1. Ohariu – Peter Dunne


MPs who failed to be re-elected were:

  • Brendan Horan (NZIC)
  • Steffan Browning (Greens)
  • Asenati Lole-Taylor (NZ First)
  • Hone Harawira (Mana)
  • Maryan Street (Labour)
  • Moana Mackey (Labour)
  • Raymond Huo (Labour)
  • Carol Beaumont (Labour)

Parliament Today 17 October 2013

October 17th, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM

  1. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement yesterday that Hon John Banks is a “credible” and “trustworthy” individual?
  2. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister for Economic Development:Has Cabinet discussed delaying the passage of the New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill until the Hon John Banks prosecution is resolved; if not, why not?
  3. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Finance: What progress is the Government making with its multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment programme, as part of its wider plan to build a more productive and competitive economy?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with the Dominion Post report that “Bill English was gushing about the NZ Super Fund yesterday” saying it was “one of the best-structured sovereign wealth funds in the world”?
  5. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: What reports has she received on the progress of the Government’s welfare reforms to date?
  6. Hon DAMIEN O’CONNOR to the Minister for Primary Industries: Does he stand by all his statements?
  7. JAN LOGIE to the Minister for Social Development: When she said last month, “for every example that the member can give, I can give another 10 of people who are grateful for the help that they are getting” was she saying that it is acceptable that a large portion of people are not getting the help they are entitled to?
  8. DENIS O’ROURKE to the Minister of Immigration: How many people are currently classified as unlawfully in New Zealand, and what steps, if any, has he taken to reduce that number?
  9. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister of Conservation: When was he first informed by the Department of Conservation that they were considering contributing to any submission on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal that might include nitrogen and phosphorous management?
  10. Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA to the Minister of Health: What progress is the Government making on its Rheumatic Fever Programme?
  11. Dr DAVID CLARK to the Minister for Small Business: What advice, if any, has he received on the impact of fraud, corruption and dishonesty on small business and what has he done about it?
  12. SCOTT SIMPSON to the Minister of Corrections: What recent announcements has she made on improving the safety of Corrections staff?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are about John Banks’ resignation as a Minister, the NZ Super Fund, The Ministry of Primary Industries, the Tukituki catchment proposal, and dishonesty in Small Business. The Greens are asking two questions today, these are about the Sky City Casino deal, and access to social welfare benefits. New Zealand First is asking about immigration.

Patsy of the day award goes to Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga for Question 10: What progress is the Government making on its Rheumatic Fever Programme?

Government Bills 3.00PM – 6.00PM

1.Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill – Committee Stage

2. Veterans’ Support Bill – First Reading

The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for ICT, Amy Adams.  This bill seeks to repeal and replace the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004 in order to ensure that interception obligations applying to the telecommunications industry are clear, do not impose unnecessary compliance costs, and are sufficiently flexible to respond to current and future operational needs and technological developments. It also seeks to require network operators to engage with the Government on network security matters, inform the Government of certain proposed decisions, courses of action, or changes in relation to an area of “specified security interest”, and work with the Government to apply any specific risk-based and proportionate security measures. David wrote about the bill earlier here.

The Veterans’ Support Bill is being introduced into the house by the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Michael Woodhouse. This bill gives effect to the recommendations of the Law Commission in its 2010 report recommending a new support scheme for veterans of military service to replace the War Pensions Act 1954.

Metro rates the Auckland MPs

December 6th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Metro magazine have released their annual ratings for the 43 Auckland MPs. You need to buy the magazine for the full ratings, but some extracts are:

  • Mean rating 4.5/10
  • Averages per party are 5.7 Maori, 4.8 National, 4.2 Labour, 3.5 ACT and 3.5 Green
  • Top five MPs are Steven Joyce 8.2, John Key 7.8, Phil Goff 7.5, Judith Collins 7.4 and Keith Locke 7.3
  • Bottom two are Chris Carter 0.9 and Ashraf Choudary 1.5
  • Top three National backbenchers are Tau Henare 5.9, Nikki Kaye 5.5 and Sam Lotu-Iiga 4.1
  • Top Labour MPs are Phil Goff 7.5, David Cunliffe 7.1 and Phil Twyford 6.8

Note these are the ratings of the unnamed panel Metro uses, not my own.

Subsidised Stomach Stapling

January 25th, 2010 at 11:44 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Momentum is building for more public funding for stomach-stapling operations, with at least four MPs showing the benefits of the procedure.

It is understood three National MPs have had the operation, which shrinks the stomach, dulls the appetite and usually leads to weight loss.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia led calls yesterday to boost public funding of the procedure after revealing she had already dropped 13 kilograms and shaken off her diabetes just nine weeks after having the $28,000 operation.

So many MPs have had stomch staples, I’ve quipped to a number of friends that I have found the solution to the MPs travel perks issues.

Instead of MP gaining greater and greater subsidies for international travel as they serve more terms, they should gain greater subsidies for stomach staple operations!

So after one term, an MP gets 25% off a stomach staple, 50% off after two terms, 75% off after three terms and after four terms (by which time the unhealthy lifestyle of an MP will have probably made such operation necessary) they get the operation for free!

And the public would be far happier seeing their MPs get stomach staple operations, than getting subsidised international travel.

I call it a win-win.