Lusk praises Labour MP

Simon Lusk writes in HB Today:

Subscription political service Trans Tasman gives MPs an annual rating. It weights the way MPs work in Parliament, often ignoring the hard work do in their electorates.

It also struggles to understand that MPs are whipped. No matter how much they want to raise their own profile, the party gets all the publicity, sharing a little with a few of the other front benchers. Back benchers are not permitted to grandstand at the expense of their leader.

These two realities mean that MP Meka Whaitiri’s rating of 2/10 and comments show exactly how out of touch Trans Tasman is.

“Many outside of Parliament have never heard of her. Needs to change this, or she’ll be forgotten inside Parliament as well”.

Anyone who follows Meka on Facebook knows she travels huge distances in her electorate, which stretches from East Cape to Wainuiomata. She does the hard work in the electorate, meaning that her crucial constituency, her own voters, know her well. …

In world where Facebook is increasingly dominating as a news source, and may be the only news source many voters access that includes politics Meka is well known. She deserves credit for her hard work, advocacy for her constituents and her constant travel all over the electorate.

Even the briefest conversation with Meka shows she is a rare politician who thinks more than 36 hours ahead. She is well positioned for important portfolios the next time Labour is in Government, based on careful thought about the future.

Meka is a fine MP, doing the work many MPs shirk in her electorate.

Trans Tasman needs to get out into the real world a bit more to understand what makes a successful MP. It is doing the hard yards that gets you re-elected in your electorate. Meka has done this, and deserves the respect that comes from hard work in a large electorate.

There are not many MPs, let alone Labour MPs, that Simon would praise.

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