Herald rates Labour’s frontbench

July 8th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald rates Labour’s frontbench:

  • Phil Twyford 9/10
  • Annette King 8/10
  • Chris Hipkins 8/10
  • Kelvin Davis 8/10
  • Jacinda Ardern 7/10
  • Grant Robertson 7/10
  • Andrew Little 7/10
  • Carmel Sepuloni 6/10

That’s better ratings than they’ve had for a while. Little has generally placed the strongest performers on the front bench, unlike previous leaders. Little’s challenge is his own rating – you normally expect the leader to be one of the strongest performers, not mid range.

Herald rates the Ministers

July 4th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young gives ratings for the Ministers halfway through their third term. Her scores are:

  • John Key 9/10
  • Anne Tolley 9/10
  • Murray McCully 8/10
  • Todd McClay 8/10
  • Amy Adams 8/10
  • Simon Bridges 8/10
  • Hekia Parata 8/10
  • Bill English 7/10
  • Nikki Kaye 7/10
  • Gerry Brownlee 7/10
  • Steven Joyce 7/10
  • Judith Collins 7/10
  • Maggie Barry 7/10
  • Jonathan Coleman 7/10
  • Chris Finlayson 7/10
  • Nathan Guy 7/10
  • Paula Bennett 6/10
  • Michael Woodhouse 5/10
  • Nick Smith 5/10
  • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga 4/10

Trotter picks English as MP of the Year

December 22nd, 2015 at 9:17 am by David Farrar

Chris Totter writes:

What makes me reluctant to award the accolade of Politician of the Year to John Key, however, is his apparent lack of interest in the lives of the 50 per cent of New Zealanders who don’t vote for the National Party, and for whom John Key is not the preferred Prime Minister. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that true political greatness is to be measured by what a politician (and government) does: not only for the lucky and the strong, but also for the weak and unfortunate.

Now, at this point you may be thinking that I’m about to bestow the accolade upon someone from the Opposition’s ranks. You would, however, be wrong. Because 2015 has not been a year in which anyone from the Opposition parties has offered the weak and the unfortunate very much at all – not even that most subversive of emotions — hope.

No, the politician I have in mind is the one who labours away in the engine-room of Key’s Government. The one who keeps the wheels of the economy turning, and international investors smiling.

Solid achievements, both, but I am more disposed towards him because, unlike his boss, he has been giving long and arduous thought to the plight of the weak and unfortunate among us. More than this, he has been thinking about them in a new and intellectually challenging fashion.

His approach has been called actuarial, because his calculations are all about the risk and the cost – both individually and collectively – of not making the weak stronger and their misfortunes less determinative; of not organising the right sort of state intervention at the right time.

For thinking about the half of the electorate who doesn’t vote for his party, my Politician of the Year for 2015 is Bill English.

High praise.

Herald picks English as MP of the Year

December 12th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young writes:

The title this year goes to his deputy and Minister of Finance, Bill English, for three reasons.

He delivered on the target of getting into surplus in 2014-15; he has increased social welfare benefits for families with children beyond CPI adjustments for the first time in 43 years; and he is the driving force of a major and logical change in the way the public sector funds the provision of social services – the social investment approach which at its essence means paying more for policies that work and are shown to work.

Since 2011, English’s Budgets were forecasting a surplus in 2014-15.

He set the goal not only for fiscal discipline within Government but in his own words, as “a symbol for responsibility” for voters.

The only Budget in which it was not forecast was this year’s in May when falling dairy prices and low inflation affected the tax take and forced an adjustment to a $684 million deficit.

Andrew Little’s description of it as “one of the biggest political deceptions of our lifetime” was perhaps one of the greatest political lessons in hyperbole that he could have had.

Yep. A smart politician thinks ahead and ponders what if they do make surplus after all.

But Bill English’s social investment project is his biggest achievement.

It sounds so logical that you’d think it had always been done that way – paying for what is proven to work.

But it hasn’t always been. It now provides a clear incentive for the public sector to find out with greater clarity what works and what doesn’t.

If it becomes embedded, it will be a lasting change for good in the lives of the least fortunate.

It may do more to help the truly disadvantaged and at risk, than any previous Government.

The Fairfax Awards

December 12th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Fairfax hands out some awards:

  • Politician of the Year – Winston Peters
  • 2nd place – Bill English
  • 3rd place – Kelvin Davis
  • Backbencher of the Year – Chris Bishop
  • Losers of the Year – Sam Lotu-Iiga, Kevin Hague and David Cunliffe
  • Mallard Cup for bad behaviour – Ron Mark

They also hand out some others:

Annette King –  Survivor Politics award. Subject a cockroach and King to a nuclear holocaust and the cockroach may not survive, but King would still be Labour’s deputy leader.

Colin Craig – Coro Street award for best  political soap opera. The year ended in a cliff hanger. Can he make a comeback? Tune in 2016.

Ron Mark – the Donald Trump award for tolerance towards migrants.

Murray McCully – the Lawrence of Arabia award for services to desert agriculture.

Phil Twyford – the Rewi Alley award for building NZ-China relations as mastermind of Labour’s “pick an Asian sounding name” housing policy.

David Cunliffe – Whack-a-Mole award for refusing to know he’s been flattened.

Simon Bridges – the Bridge too Far award for unsuccessfully parachuting policies into a by-election battle.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce – the Pantene award for services to hair care after his department was revealed as buying hair straighteners for its staff.

Kelvin Davis – the Santa Award for spreading the Christmas Island spirit.

Act leader David Seymour – The Bastille Day award for pointing out “the French love the coq”. Say no more.

Speaker David Carter – The Nigel Llong award for poor umpiring

Health and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse – The Bear Grylls award for highlighting the dangers of worm farming

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry – the Tame Iti award for services to Tuhoe for renaming Te Ururoa Flavell Te Urewera Flavell.

Housing Minister Nick Smith – The Promised Land award- for pointing out unattainable building sites in Auckland.

Judith Collins – The Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator Award. She’s back!

Labour MP Phil Goff – the Panasonic Microwave award for warming up his political career

Key – Bad Hair Day award for Ponytail-gate. The Ball Boy award for services in the All Black dressing room. And the John Oliver award for services to late night comedy shows. Yup. It was a big year for the prime minister.

Peters – Mr Congeniality. Okay so he’s still cantankerous and argumentative 80 per cent of the time. But he does seem to be mellowing.

Sam Lotu-Iiga – The Reverse Great Escape award for tunnelling into trouble.

Gerry Brownlee – The Snow White award for naming Treasury Dopey.

The 2015 Trans-Tasman Ratings

November 30th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Transtasman has published its annual ratings for most of the 121 MPs. As usual, I do some analysis.

The overall average rating is 4.1 (-1.2 from 2014), which is a huge drop. This may reflect grumpier reviewers more than the  possibility that almost every single MP is doing worse than a year ago. I have to say that the number of ratings they have given which I think are totally detached from reality is higher than normal.

Average Ratings per Party

  1. ACT 8.5
  2. United Future 5.0 (nc)
  3. National 4.3 (-1.5)
  4. Labour 4.1 (-1.0)
  5. Maori 4.0 (-2.5)
  6. Green 3.9 (-0.3)
  7. NZ First 3.2 (-0.9)

Of the four main parties, their average rankings in order are National, Labour, Greens, NZ First

Top MPs

  1. David Seymour 8.5
  2. Murray McCully 8.0 (+0.5)
    Bill English 8.0 (-1.0)
  3. John Key 7.5 (-2.0)
    Tim Groser 7.5 (nc)
    Amy Adams 7.5 (+0.5)

Bottom MPs

  1. Darroch Ball 2.0
    Mahesh Bindra 2.0
    Catherine Delahunty 2.0 (nc)
    Ruth Dyson 2.0 (-1.5)
    Paul Foster-Bell 2.0 (-1.5)
    Barbara Kuriger, 2.0
    Melissa Lee 2.0 (-1.0)
    Tracey Martin 2.0 (-2.0)
    Clayton Mitchell 2.0
    Pita Paraone 2.0
    Stuart Smith 2.0
    Rino Tirakatene 2.0 (-0.5)

Top Labour MPs

  1. Annette King 6.5 (-1.0)
  2. Andrew Little 6.0 (-1.0)
    Phil Twyford 6.0 (nc)
    Kelvin Davis 6.0

Top Third Party MPs

  1. David Seymour 8.5
  2. Winston Peters 7.0 (-0.5)
  3. James Shaw 5.5

Biggest Increases

  1. Denis O’Rourke +1.0
    Barbara Stewart +1.0
    Nanaia Mahuta +1.0
    Jan Logie +1.0

Biggest Decreases

  1. David Carter -3.0
  2. Mark Mitchell -2.5
    Grant Ribertson -2.5
    Nick Smith -2.5

Group Ratings

  1. Ministers 5.9 (-0.4)
  2. Cabinet 6.3 (-0.6)
  3. National frontbench 6.7 (-1.0)
  4. Labour frontbench 5.3 (-0.7)
  5. National backbench 3.3 (-1.4)

Basically every group has dropped.

Only 10 MPs got a higher score, 16 MPs stayed the same and 63 MPs got a lower score.

A reminder these are the opinions of the three authors at , not mine. I’d love to publish my own scores for all 121 MPs but I value my relationships too much to do so!

One thing I do agree with is their appraisal of David Seymour as MP of the Year, and I quote them:

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.

CEOs rank the Ministers

August 13th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

From the Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom:

  • Bill English 4.60 (out of 5)
  • John Key 4.28
  • Paula Bennett 3.85
  • Tim Groser 3.77
  • Steven Joyce 3.65
  • Chris Finlayson 3.41
  • Jonathan Coleman 3.28
  • Michael Woodhouse 3.22
  • Maggie Barry 2.22

Key got 4.28 out of 5.0.  Somehow this convinced NewstalkZB to run a story saying business leaders say it is time for Key to go. They’ve since deleted the story, presumably out of embarrassment. They even invented a new former MP called Simon Powell.

Herald ratings of Cabinet Ministers

July 24th, 2015 at 3:40 pm by David Farrar

The Herald (print) did their annual ratings of Ministers on a 0 to 10 scale.

These things are always subjective, but I have to say that this year I find some of them exceptionally wacky. The Herald has Bill English as the third worse performing Minister. That is just off the planet.

But here they are for what it is worth:

  • Michael Woodhouse 9
  • John Key 8
  • Paula Bennett 8
  • Jonathan Coleman 8
  • Amy Adams 8
  • Chris Finlayson 8
  • Hekia Parata 8
  • Anne Tolley 8
  • Tim Groser 8
  • Todd McClay 8
  • Gerry Brownlee 7
  • Murray McCully 7
  • Nathan Guy 7
  • Nikki Kaye 7
  • Maggie Barry 7
  • Bill English 6
  • Steven Joyce 6
  • Simon Bridges 6
  • Nick Smith 5
  • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga 4

The average rating is 7.15.

Fairfax Ratings

December 13th, 2014 at 5:30 am by David Farrar

Fairfax score the front benchers:

  • John Key 8.5
  • Bill English 8.0
  • Steven Joyce 8.0
  • Andrew Little 7.5
  • Paula Bennett 7.0
  • Grant Robertson 7.0
  • Jacinda Ardern 7.0
  • Kelvin Davis 7.0
  • Winston Peters 7.0
  • Jonathan Coleman 6.5
  • Annette King 6.5
  • Amy Adams 6.0
  • Phil Twyford 6.0
  • Chris Hipkins 6.0
  • Russel Norman 6.0
  • Te Ururoa Flavell
  • Christopher Finlayson 5.5
  • Metiria Turei 5,5
  • Tracey Martin 5,5
  • Simon Bridges 5.0
  • David Seymour 5.0
  • Carmel Sepuloni 4.5
  • David Clark 4.5
  • Gerry Brownlee 4.0
  • Hekia Parata 3.5
  • Peter Dunne 3.0
  • Nanaia Mahuta 2.5

I should mention that I strongly disagree with a few of these ratings. Christopher Finlayson at the same level as Tracey Martin is ridiculous, and they seem to be judging Hekia Parata on her 2012, not 2014, performance and achievements.

The 2014 Trans-Tasman Ratings

December 4th, 2014 at 11:50 am by David Farrar

Transtasman has published its annual ratings for the 120 (currently) MPs. As usual, I do some analysis.

The overall average rating is 5.3 (+0.6 from 2013, which is a big increase, probably influenced by retiring MPs)

Average Ratings per Party

  1. Maori 6.5 (+1.3)
  2. National 5.8 (+0.7)
  3. Labour 5.1 (+0.5)
  4. United Future 5.0 (+1.0)
  5. Green 4.3 (-0.1)
  6. NZ First 4.1 (+0.8)

Of the four main parties, their average rankings in order are National, Labour, Greens, NZ First

Top MPs

  1. John Key 9.5 (+0.5)
  2. Bill English 9.0 (nc)
  3. Steven Joyce 8.0 (+0.5)
    Chris Finlayson 8.0 (+0.5)

Bottom MPs

  1. Catherine Delahunty 2.0 (-1.0)
    Richard Prosser 2.0 (+0.5)
  2. Steffan Browning 2.5 (-0.5)
    Rino Tirikatene 2.5 (-0.5)

Top Labour MPs

  1. Annette King 7.5 (+0.5)
  2. Andrew Little 7.0 (+2.5)
  3. Grant Robertson 6.5 (+0.5)

Top Third Party MPs

  1. Winston Peters 7.5 (+0.5)
  2. Russel Norman 7.0 (nc)
  3. Te Ururoa Flavell 6.5 (+0.5)
    Kevin Hague 6.5 (+0.5)

Biggest Increases

  1. Andrew Little +2.5
    Maggie Barry +2.5
  2. Hekia Parata +2.0
    Alfred Ngaro +2.0
    Megan Woods +2.0
    David Shearer +2.0
    Scott Simpson +2.0

Biggest Decreases

  1. Judith Collins -2.5
  2. David Cunliffe -1.5

Group Ratings

  1. Ministers 6.3 (nc)
  2. Cabinet 6.9 (+0.2)
  3. National frontbench 7.7 (+0.3)
  4. Labour frontbench 6.0 (+0.2)
  5. National backbench 4.7 (+0.7)

All groups improved their ratings this year except Ministers (but Cabinet went up). The biggest improvement was the National backbench, due to rejuvenation. New MPs will be rated next year.

Worth noting that as always, I of course disagree with some of the ratings. They are the opinions of the three authors at Trans-Tasman.

Fairfax rates the front benchers

December 14th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Fairfax rates the frontbench MPs. The summary is:

  • Bill English 8.0
  • Paula Bennett 8.0
  • David Cunliffe 8.0
  • John Key 7.5
  • David Parker 7.5
  • Russell Normn 7.5
  • Judith Collins 7.0
  • Jonathan Coleman 7.0
  • Shane Jones 7.0
  • Gerry Brownlee 6.5
  • Chris Hipkins 6.5
  • Hone Harawira 6.5
  • Te Ururoa Flavell 6.0
  • Chris Finlayson 6.0
  • Tony Ryall 6.0
  • Clayton Cosgrove 6.0
  • Metiria Turei 6.0
  • Winston Peters 6.0
  • David Parker 6.0
  • Steven Joyce 5.5
  • Grant Robertson 5.0
  • Jacinda Ardern 5.0
  • Kevin Hague 5.0
  • Annette King 4.5
  • Peter Dunne 4.0
  • Tariana Turia 4.0
  • Hekia Parata 3.0
  • Tracey Martin 3.0
  • John Banks 1.0


The 2013 Trans-Tasman Ratings

December 2nd, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Transtasman has published its annual ratings for the 120 (currently) MPs. As usual, I do some analysis.

The overall average rating is 4.7 (+0.3 from 2012, which is a reasonable increase)

Average Ratings per Party

  1. Maori 5.2 (-0.5)
  2. National 5.1 (+0.2)
  3. Labour 4.6 (+0.6)
  4. Green 4.4 (+0.4)
  5. United Future 4.0 (-2.5)
  6. NZ First 3.3 (-0.1)
  7. Mana 2.5 (-2.0)
  8. ACT 1.0 (+1.0)

The small parties all get pretty hammered. NZ First says much the same, and National, Greens and Labour all go up. Labour’s average rating has increased the most.

Top MPs

  1. Bill English 9.0 (+1.5)
  2. John Key 8.5 (+0.5)
  3. David Cunliffe 7,5 (+3.0)
    Steven Joyce 7.5 (+0.5)
    Tim Groser 7.5 (nc)
    Chris Finlayson 7.5 (-0.5)
    Judith Collins 7.5 (nc)
    Paula Bennett 7.5 (+0.5)

Bottom MPs

  1. John Banks 1 (+1.0)
    Rajan Prasad 1.0 (nc)
    Brendan Horan 1.0 (-1.0)

Top Labour MPs

  1. David Cunliffe 7.5 (+3.0)
  2. David Parker 7.0 (+0.5)
    Phil Goff 7.0 (+0.5)
    Annette King 7.0 (+1.0)
    Chris Hipkins 7.0 (+1.5)

Top Third Party MPs

  1. Russel Norman 7.0 (-1.0)
    Winston Peters 7.0 (nc)
  2. Tariana Turia 6.5 (+0.5)
  3. Metiria Turei 6.0 (nc)
    Te Ururoa Flavell 6.0 (nc)
    Kevin Hague 6.0 (+1.0)

Biggest Increases

  1. David Cunliffe +3.0
    Hekia Parata +3.0
  2. Paul Goldsmith +2.5

Biggest Decreases

  1. Peter Dunne -2.5
  2. Phil Heatley -2.0
    Hone Harawira -2.0
    Pita Sharples -2.0

Group Ratings

  1. Ministers 6.3 (+0.3)
  2. Cabinet 6.7 (+0.6)
  3. National frontbench 7.4 (+0.6)
  4. Labour frontbench 5.8 (+1.7)
  5. National backbench 4.0 (nc)

The Cabinet have improved their rankings this year and the National front bench are scoring very highly. However a significant increase for Labour’s front bench which finally has most of their strongest MPs on it.

Worth noting that as always, I of course disagree with some of the ratings. Some of the National backbench ratings are seriously astray for example.

Herald report card on Ministers

August 11th, 2013 at 4:31 pm by David Farrar

The Herald has done a new report card on the performance of Ministers. Not online, but a photo is on Facebook. The summary of scores is:

  • Steven Joyce 9.0 (+2.0)
  • Bill English 8.5 (+0.5)
  • Chris Finlayson 8.5 (-0.5)
  • Tony Ryall 8.0 (-0.5)
  • Paula Bennett 8.0  (+1.0)
  • Murray McCully 8.0 (+1.0)
  • Anne Tolley 8.0 (+1.0)
  • Nick Smith 8.0
  • Tim Groser 8.0 (nc)
  • Simon Bridges 8.0 (+1.0)
  • Gerry Brownlee 7.0 (-0.5)
  • Judith Collins 7.0 (-1.5)
  • Jonathan Coleman 7.0 (-1.0)
  • Nikki Kaye 7.0
  • John Key 6.0 (-1.0)
  • Amy Adams 6.0 (-1.0)
  • Chris Tremain 6.0 (nc)
  • Hekia Parata 5.0 (+2.0)
  • Nathan Guy 5.0 (-1.0)
  • Craig Foss 5.0 (-1.0)

As always you agree with some of them, and disagree with others. I think most of them are pretty fair and Steven Joyce is definitely doing a great job. However I think it is beyond ridiculous to have the Prime Minister in the bottom quarter of Cabinet. National is polling better five years in than any other Government has ever managed – and no small part of that is because of the PM. With respect I think the Herald is too focused on issues that matter to them – but not to most New Zealanders.

The average or mean score was 7.2 out of 10, which is an increase of 0.4 from a year ago.

The median was 7.5, up from 7.0 a year ago.

If you take the 10 frontbench Ministers, their average is 7.4 out of 10, the same as a year ago.

Best Maori politicians

January 11th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Morgan Godfery at Maui Street blogs his picks:

Best Maori MP: Louisa Wall – for services to equality and old school lobbying. 

Best Maori Minister: Paula Bennett – a competent manager, good communicator and is overseeing some innovative programmes. 

Best Maori electorate MP: Parekura Horomia – for what he lacks on the national stage, he makes up for on the ground. His majority (the largest in the Maori electorates) wasn’t a mistake. 

Most improved: Te Ururoa Flavell – after a shocking 2011 and despite a fail on education in 2012, Flavell has made up ground with his strong support for Tuhoe, competent debate performances and electorate work. 

Most consistent: Metiria Turei – points for tireless advocacy for Maori, women and beneficiaries. Always takes a consistent and articulate line. Stand out performer in the Native Affairs debates.

Joshua Hitchcock also provides his list:

The Iwi Leaders Group

Without a doubt the big winners from 2012, the Iwi Leaders Group have established themselves as the go-to national Māori body for Crown engagement on national issues.  They have established a good working relationship with the Government over the past 18 months, and have clearly adopted the approach of working with Government to achieve progress for Māori rights over a more antagonistic approach.  While many question their standing and their beliefs (occasionally referred to disparagingly as the “Iwi Elite”), you cannot overlook the fact that this self-selected group comprise the elected leaders of many of the major Iwi in the country. With this comes a lot of weight, and a lot of influence with the Government.

Paula Bennett 

This may come as a surprise to many of my readers, but I consider Paula Bennett to be the Māori politician of the year.  You might question her kaupapa, but to survive the MSD security breach scandal and to oversee the most drastic reform to our welfare system since Jenny Shipley in the early 1990s is no easy task.  Add to that the ease with which she brushes aside the attacks from Jacinda Ardern in the House and you have a Māori politician who appears brilliant at her job.  With the remainder of the National Party Māori caucus either failing to fire (Henare, T) or making a complete fool of themselves (Parata, H), having one competent Māori in the National front bench, regardless of her politics, is something to celebrate.

Louisa Wall

Runner-up in the Māori politician of the year awards, Louisa Wall has shown herself to be the exemplary opposition M.P.  Having such a contentious bill pass its first reading with a massive majority is no easy task for an opposition M.P, what makes her all the more remarkable is the effort she  undertook to sit down with opponents, listen to their concerns, and quietly convince them of her case.  A future Minister of Māori Affairs, if not destined for higher honours.

Tariana Turia

It is hard to think of a Māori politician who has made as great an impact as Tariana Turia has over her 18 years in Parliament.  Her decision to cross the floor on the Foreshore and Seabed Act led to the formation of not one, but two Kaupapa Māori political parties and a renewed influence of Māori politicians in the House.  While Whanau Ora is a mere shadow of her initial dream, her efforts to curb smoking in Aotearoa have been immense and caused even given the big Tobacco companies something to worry about.  Her decision to retire marks the great cross roads in Māori politics.  Can the Māori Party survive without her, or will the independent Māori voice represented by the Māori Party and Te Mana be dragged back into the welcoming arms of the Labour Party?

The National Party

Yes, the National Party are one of the big winners of 2012.  While the partial asset sale programme has been delayed, a crushing victory in the High Court a few weeks ago means that it will take a miracle in January to bring about a final halt to their key policy platform.  Ructions within Ngāpuhi aside, they have also made great strides in settling historical grievance claims with Hapū and Iwi and an historic Tuhoe settlement is on the cards for early 2014 – a mere two years after it lay in tatters.

Rahui Katene

With the retirement of Tariana Turia in 2014, Rahui Katene looks set to succeed to her Te Tai Hauaurau electorate seat and, by extension, the co-leadership of the Māori Party.  Her work with the New Zealand Māori Council, and a renewed effort working at the ground level, has seen her restore the mana lost when she was defeated at last years election.  Expect to see and hear more from Rahui in 2013 as the Māori Party look to position her as Tariana’s natural successor.

Both Maori bloggers (whose politics are quite different) cite Paula Bennett and Louisa Wall as having done well.

Comparing the MP ratings

December 17th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve done a little table comparing the MP ratings done this year by Fairfax, NZ Herald and Trans-Tasman.

The Fairfax ones were out of five, so I have doubled them for comparison purposes.


The National Minister with the greatest variation is David Carter. Fairfax had him as a 5/10 while Herald had 8/10.

Steven Joyce was only Minister to get the same score from all three publications – 7/10.

The overall highest ranked Minister was Tony Ryall on 8.3, followed by Finlayson and Collins on 8.0 each.

The Labour MP with the greatest variation is David Shearer. Fairfax had him at a massive 8/10 while Trans-Tasman had 4/10 and Herald 6/10.  Also great variation with David Parker whom Fairfax had at 9/10, Trans-Tasman 6.5 and Herald 6.0.

Parker’s overall average was highest for Labour at 7.2, followed by Robertson at 6.7.

All three publications had the National frontbench ranked higher than Labour, but still significant variation. For National the average was 6.9 TT, 6.8 Fairfax and Herald a bit higher at 7.4.

For Labour Fairfax highest at 5.6, Herald at 5.5 and TT 4.1.

So in terms of the average difference, TT had Nats +2.8, Herald had Nats +1.9 and Fairfax Nats +0.8.


The Fairfax front bench ratings

December 15th, 2012 at 8:24 am by David Farrar

Fairfax have rated the respective front benches. Their ratings on a one to five star scale are:

  • Tony Ryall 4.5
  • Paula Bennett 4.0
  • John Key 4.0
  • Gerry Brownlee 4.0
  • Judith Collins 4.0
  • Chris Finlayson 3.5
  • Bill English 3.5
  • Steven Joyce 3.5
  • David Carter 2.5
  • Hekia Parata 0.5

The minor parties:

  • Russel Norman 4.5
  • Peter Dunne 3.5
  • Winston Peters 3.0
  • Hone Harawira 3.0
  • Tariana Turia 2.5
  • Metiria Turei 2.5
  • Barbara Stewart 2.0
  • Pita Sharples 1.5
  • John Banks 0


  • David Parker 4.5
  • David Shearer 4.0
  • Jacinda Ardern 3.5
  • Grant Robertson 3.0
  • Clayton Cosgrove 2.5
  • Maryan Street 2.0
  • Su’a William Sio 2.0
  • Nanaia Mahuta 1.0

A fair few there I’d dispute, but each to their own!

The 2012 Trans-Tasman Ratings

December 3rd, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Transtasman has published (not yet online) its annual ratings for the 121 MPs. As usual, I do some analysis.

The overall average rating is 4.4 (-0.6 from 2011, which is a significant drop)

Average Ratings per Party

  1. United Future 6.5 (+1.5)
  2. Maori 5.7 (-0.1)
  3. National 4.9 (-0.3)
  4. Mana 4.5 (-0.5)
  5. Green 4.0 (-0.7)
  6. Labour 4.0 (-0.1)
  7. NZ First 3.4

I actually thought the Greens were a bit hard done by. I thought Hague, Hughes and Genter who scored 5, 3 and 3.5 all should have got higher marks.

Top MPs

  1. Chris Finlayson 8.0 (+1.0)
  2. Russel Norman 8.0 (nc)
  3. John Key 9.0 (-1.0)

The next five MPs on 7.5 are Tony Ryall, Tim Groser, Bill English, Judith Collins and Gerry Brownlee.

Bottom MPs

  1. John Banks 0
  2. Rajan Prasad 1.0 (nc)
    Kanwalkit Bakshi 1.0 (-2.0)

14 MPs were rated just 2/10.

Top Labour MPs

  1. David Parker 6.5 (+0.5)
    Phil Goff 6.5 (+0.5)
  2. Grant Robertson 6.0 (nc)
    Annette King 6.0 (nc)

David Shearer was rated 15th equal in Labour, along with Kris Faafoi, Shane Jones and Megan Woods!

Top Third Party MPs

  1. Russel Norman 8.0 (nc)
  2. Winston Peters 7.0
  3. Peter Dunne 6.5 (+1.5)
  4. Tariana Turia 6.0 (-0.5)
    Metiria Turei 6.0 (nc)
    Te Ururoa Flavell 6.0 (+1.0)

Biggest Increases

  1. Louisa Wall +2.0
    Colin King +2.0
  2. Peter Dunne +1.5
    Jonathan Coleman +1.5
    Chris Hipkins +1.5
    Paul Hutchison +1.5
    Ross Robertson +1.5
    Clare Curran +1.5

Biggest Decreases

  1. Hekia Parata -4.5
  2. Kanwlakit Bakshi -.2.0
    Nanaia Mahuta -2.0
    Phil Heatley -2.0

Group Ratings

  1. Ministers 6.0 (-0.3)
  2. Cabinet 6.1 (-0.3)
  3. National frontbench 6.8 (-0.4)
  4. Labour frontbench 4.1 (-0.7)
  5. National backbench 4.0

Both front benches have dropped compared to 2011. However National’s frontbench still rates an average 1.9 higher than National as a whole. Labour’s frontbench ranks just 0.1 higher than the caucus as a whole, which cements the perception that a reshuffle is definitely needed. Five of Labour’s eight frontbenchers got a score of under 5/10.

The 2011 Trans-Tasman Ratings

December 15th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Transtasman has published its annual ratings for the 92 re-elected MPs. As usual, I do some analysis.

The overall average rating is 5.0 (+0.5 from 2010)

Average Ratings per Party

  1. Maori 5.8 (-1.0)
  2. National 5.2 (-0.2)
  3. United Future 5.0 (-0.5)
  4. Mana 5.0 (+3.0)
  5. Green 4.7 (+0.9)
  6. Labour 4.1 (-0.4)

Labour overall rated the bottom party, based on the MPs re-elected. The Greens are most improved of the parties with more than one MP.

Top MPs

  1. Gerry Brownlee 9.0 (+1.0)
  2. John Key 9.0 (nc)
  3. Bill English 8.5 (nc)

The next four MPs on 8.0 are Russel Norman, Tony Ryall, Lockwood Smith and Murray McCully. They say about Gerry:

As Minister in charge of directing recovery from the devastating earthquakes in Canterbury, and faced almost daily with hard decisions, Brownlee has shown his true mettle. He has stood four-square behind the Govt’s determination to rebuild Christchurch, and has given back hope to those whose homes and businesses were torn apart. The job is far from done and Brownlee is expected to remain in charge for at least a year as the process of rebuilding gathers pace. What may have exercised a strong influence on the outcome of the election, as National harvested majorities in onetime Labour fiefdoms in Christchurch, was the conviction the Govt totally supported the city, transmitted through the Brownlee personality, and built around the extraordinary generosity in the payouts to citizens whose homes had been destroyed.

Bottom MPs

  1. Rajan Prasad 1.0 (-3.0)
  2. David Clendon 2.0 (-1.5)
    Darien Fenton 2.0 (-2.0)
    Louisa Wall 2.0 (-2.0)
    William Sio 2.0 (-1.5)
    Parekura Horomia 2.0 (-1.0)
    Melissa Lee 2.0 (-1.5)
    Colin King 2.0 (-1.5)

And Rajen Prasad was rated higher on Labour’s List than Stuart Nash etc!

Top Labour MPs

  1. Annette King 6.0 (-0.5)
    David Parker 6.0 (-0.5)
    Phil Goff 6.0 (nc)
    David Cunliffe 6.0 (+0.5)
    Lianne Dalziel 6.0 (+0.5)
    Jacinda Ardern 6.0 (+1.0)
    Grant Robertson 6.0 (+1.0)

Top Third Party MPs

  1. Russel Norman 8.0 (+3.0)
  2. Tariana Turia – 6.5 (-.10)
  3. Metiria Turei 6.0 (+1.5)
    Pita Sharples 6.0 (-1.0)
  4. Peter Dunne – 5.0 (-0.5)
    Hone Harawira – 5.0 (+3.0)
    Te Ururoa Flavell 6.0 (-1.0)
    Gareth Hughes – 5.0 (+2.0)

Biggest Increases

  1. Hone Harawira +3.0
    Russel Norman +3.0
  2. Michael Woodhouse +2.0
    David Shearer +2.0
    Gareth Hughes +2.0

Biggest Decreases

  1. Rajan Prasad -3.0
  2. Paul Hutchison -.2.0
    Sue Moroney -2.0
    Darien Fenton -2.0
    Louisa Wall -2.0

Group Ratings

  1. Ministers 6.3 (-0.3)
  2. Cabinet 6.4 (-0.7)
  3. National frontbench 7.2 (-0.7)
  4. Labour frontbench 4.8 (-0.2)