Audrey’s Ministerial Report Card

NZ Herald Political Editor Audrey Young scores the Ministers out of 10. Her ratings are:

  • Chris Finlayson 9
  • Judith Collins 8.5
  • Tony Ryall 8.5
  • Bill English 8
  • David Carter 8
  • Jonathan Coleman 8
  • Tim Groser 8
  • Gerry Brownlee 7.5
  • John Key 7
  • Steven Joyce 7
  • Paula Bennett 7
  • Murray McCully 7
  • Anne Tolley 7
  • Amy Adams 7
  • Maurice Williamson 7
  • Simon Bridges 7
  • Nathan Guy 6
  • Craig Foss 6
  • Chris Tremain 6
  • Jo Goodhew 6
  • Chester Borrows 6
  • Phil Heatley 5
  • Kate Wilkinson 4
  • Hekia Parata 3

Only the National Ministers were ranked. The average or mean score was 6.8 out of 10 and the median was 7. 22 out of 24 Ministers got a 5/10 or higher.

If you take the 10 frontbench Ministers, the average score increases from 6.8 to 7.4 out of 10.

I am pleased to see Finlayson rated so highly. He has done a very good job, and I’d be inclined to look at keeping him in the Labour portfolio.

Audrey notes:

Chris Finlayson has emerged as one of John Key’s most valuable ministers in National’s second term. He has scored the highest rating of all ministers in my report card on the Executive prepared with colleagues in the Herald press gallery team. …

Mr Finlayson is Attorney-General and Treaty Negotiations Minister. He is also Labour Minister since Kate Wilkinson resigned after the royal commission’s damning report into the Pike River disaster.

On the face of it, that may not seem a natural fit – and it may be just a temporary appointment until the next reshuffle. But Mr Finlayson’s skill set may be the right one to keep the job for the rest of the term. He gets results. He has a big intellect and has a good head for detail. But he is also emotionally intelligent, and was a good choice to send to the West Coast to discuss the report with the Pike River families.

His achievements in Treaty Negotiations are the most notable. Who would have imagined two years ago the Government concluding a deal with Tuhoe?

The report card is done in consultation with the full Herald gallery team. Obviously Hekia Parata has the largest challenge in terms of restoring confidence. Eyes will be on how the Christchurch schools issue is resolved. There must be some change – you can’t ignore the earthquake’s impact on school rolls and damaged buildings. So there will be some people unhappy with the outcome no matter what. However if the communities down there feel they have been listened to, and that their views and arguments have had an impact on the final decisions, then that will help restore the reputation.

UPDATE: On reflection I think the Herald team have been a bit generous to a couple of Ministers. No, I won’t say which ones – but I’d say 21 out of 24 Ministers being 6/10 or higher is a bit generous.

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