Is Mallard rooted?


The consensus candidate for the best new National backbencher, Chris Bishop, is doing the hard yards in Hutt South against Labour party veteran Trevor Mallard. Bishop has had a very, very impressive start to his parliamentary career, but winning in parliament is no substitute for proving you are actually electable.

Prime Minister John Key visited Wainuiomata  recently to open an office for  National List  MP  Chris Bishop.

The Hutt South electorate has never been held by National, nor were the electorates of Pencarrow or Petone that preceded it before MMP.

But the seat could turn blue after the next election, Key told the crowd assembled for the opening.

He  said Bishop was a “hugely talented” young MP who ran a strong campaign against incumbent MP Trevor Mallard at the last election.

“Chris is the face of the future,” Key said.

If Bishop can win Hutt South he will confirm that he can win over middle New Zealand, and is a real force to be reckoned with. If he cannot win he will have the potential for the sort of meaningful career the unelectable Steve Joyce and Bill English have, but his influence will always be limited.

His opponents in National will tell him to bugger off because he isn’t electable, pointing to his election results, and probably back that up with polls that show he looks a lot like Joyce and English in the eyes of the voting public.


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  • Keeping Stock

    Bishop cut Mallard’s majority to around 700 in 2014, despite being selected as the Hutt South candidate just a few months out from the election. Heading into Mallard’s Wainuiomata stronghold and opening an office there whilst acknowledging the Nats have historically been slack with Wainuiomata is a very bold move, and I would not be at all surprised to see him end Mallard’s career next year.

  • Cadwallader

    isn’t it interesting that National are projecting young talent like Mr Bishop while Labour runs out the same old nags? Has Labour not heard of the Melbourne Cup? After a few years all contenders become dog-meat. There’s enough of them in Labour to supply a pet food factory for generations.

  • Korau

    He has been working hard, and it shows.

    He got the Hutt City Council to give the first hour of metered time free on parking meters (no mean feat). This is bringing traffic back to shops that had been struggling.

    He has run a campaign (with large signage) promoting Lower Hutt as a technology destination.

    I think Mallard is being put to the sord ( ) as he puddles ( ) around.

    Wish Bishop was standing in Rimutaka against Hipkins.

    • duve

      I appreciate the etymology lesson..

      • Korau

        And ornithology.

    • XCIA

      Has not he been “puddling” around with the Vance harpy. That would be the kiss of death on any career.

      • Vutekno

        Mallard or Bishop?

        • XCIA

          I guess that should be peddling ;-)

          • Vutekno

            Reminds of the U.K. version of the “House of Cards” in a small way, although Mattie was blonde & Urquhart was no duck!

          • Nic C

            I couldn’t possibly comment.

  • Jp

    Bill English has held a seat from 1987-2014 this is his first time as list only
    That would say Bill is electable to me

    • Steve kay

      And we need him back. Toddy isn’t worth a cup of cold wees.

      • MrHippo

        Agree on needing Bill. As much as we point out the utter lack of talent in Labour, outside a few cabinet posts National itself isn’t exactly brimming with talent and I’d say a succession plan needs attention.

        • Steve kay

          There was another reasonable young candidate here in Queenstown pre election’14. However, his family were not old friends with the English family so he missed out. Bet they’re regretting that now hey? They keep denying it, but I reckon Toddy’s wheels are falling off rapidly, will he still be here next year is the question?

    • Aucky

      Absolutely Jp. I know stuff all about internal National Party politicking but in my book the Key/English partnership is seen as one of the most effective in our political history. And we know it’s all about perception.

    • Dave

      Lets contrast his electability to 2 of the top people in the Labour Party, Andrew little, can’t even win a seat, handed National a bigger majority in 2014, and Grant Robertson, no comment there.

  • Totara

    But Trevor Mallard promised us the he was going to bring the Moa back to the New Zealad bush. Did that idea not fly with the people of Wainuiomata?

    • Jon Low

      Let them drink (quasi) craft beer?

    • Huia

      He cant really do that because there are no moa of them left.
      Written all over Bishops face is a “don’t tolerate fools gladly” aura.
      This man will be worth watching.

  • JEL51

    Oooh that face says trouble. We might get our own home-grown Boris ;) Luv it .

  • peterwn

    But – even if Chris does not win the seat he will have done wonders for the party vote in his electorate and the party vote means everything. In the Wellington area National candidates have not been successful in winning seats, but they have been outstanding in campaigning for the party vote and boosting the party vote for National. Also a list MP can be active in and gain a high profile in his or her ‘assigned’ electorate, something which a non-MP cannot successfully do despite the best intent in the world.

  • Teletubby

    Bishop will be doing the Labour Party a favour if he beats Mallard and ends his career. It seems to be the only way they will be rid of him.

  • Big_Al

    It will be good to see some up and coming new talent joining the National Party ranks. Something the Labour Party does’nt seem to realise. New blood is essential for the survival of any political party, as so often, familiarity breeds contempt. Good luck to Chris Bishop as it is time overdue for the Dinasour to go.

  • Wayne Hodge

    Chris is highly visible in the electorate and gets out and meets people.

  • Aucky

    Will Mallard even stand again? I find it hard to understand that such a show pony can be happy stuck up in the far corner of the Opposition benches next to Ruth Dyson with nothing to contribute other than a barrage of abuse.

  • Valid Point

    One small issue with this column. English has been elected a number of times in his career. He’s an outstanding minister and the way government is run, much better focused as a high ranking list MP.

  • 61dart

    Not a hope that Mallard will be defeated at the next election. I for one will vote for him as I want to see the Moa brought back into N.Z. mmmm think of those lovely Colonial Mallard drumsticks!!!

  • Vutekno

    I didn’t realise that Bishop was behind the free hour parking in the Hutt. Good move.

    Now he needs to get the Police to back off hassling the few bars left in Hutt City. It’s a dead space at night these days.

    Probably far too late. Few bars few restaurants no people in the evenings dead city!

    Edit last sentence added

  • Vutekno

    Mallard has been a lazy MP for this area for far to long. I really hope Mr. Bishop deals to him in 2017