The inevitable rankings and lists

Journos are desperate to fill up empty space this time of year.  And I’m sure the team and I will be suffering the same pressures.   But we have decided to not do “Best of…” or “Worst of…” lists.  That doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at those of others.   Paddy Gower lashes out:


Politician of the year: Winston Peters.

Winston Peters drove a bus into Northland and crashed it into John Key’s political reputation, doing some serious damage.

This Rocky VI-style victory by Peters actually meddled with National’s power, taking not just a seat but a crucial vote in the House, meaning it couldn’t pass legislation.

Marks off for Peters because he hasn’t actually done anything with the power he has achieved and probably won’t.

Runner-up: Bill English.

Bill English is the Conrad Smith of the Government. Steady, stable, keeping formation and very rarely failing defensively.

He climbed the economic Everest and got the surplus, admittedly being forced down from the summit immediately. Has a plan and ideas and uses his power and looks in control of the economic levers.

Commended: Kelvin Davis.

Kelvin Davis had a massive year riding the Serco tsunami. It looked like he didn’t know what he was doing at times but it worked out. He played by “prison rules” in Parliament, acting like it was D-Block at Paremoremo and made a name for himself amongst the hardened political crims.


Michael Woodhouse (by Simon Wong)

Worst politician: Michael Woodhouse.

He tried to outlaw worm farming as a health and safety risk; he tried to outlaw mini putt too. This is laughing stock stuff, even the Prime Minister called it “worm-gate”.

Runner-up: Sam Lotu-Iiga.

Sam got smashed by the Serco tsunami.


Surprise of year: David Seymour

David Seymour took the ACT party from crazy to credible. How did he do that? By saying “coq” in public. All jokes aside this libertarian boy wonder had a big year and turning down the baubles of Ministerial office capped it off.

Runner up: James Shaw.

New Greens co-leader Jimmy Shaw doesn’t have a driver’s licence but also threw out his political trainer wheels. The Greens stayed out of single figure in polling; Jimmy Shaw looks comfortable in Rusty Norman’s old shoes.

Oddly enough that’s not too far off my own views, with the exception of James Shaw.  He’s actually a grey man that isn’t performing at all.  His co-leader is taking all the public credit, such as it is.  He may still come into form in time for the election, but to rate him a surprise on current (non)performance is ludicrous.

If anything, the fact that there has been no hit to the Green Party over Russel Norman’s departure is due to the fact that Russel Norman wasn’t really seen as an asset, and Shaw, who replaced him, at least not a bigger liability.


– Paddy Gower, 3 News

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