Lusk praises a Labour MP

My mate Simon Lusk schools the old dodderers at Trans-Tasman:

Subscription political service Trans Tasman gives MPs an annual rating. It weights the way MPs work in Parliament, often ignoring the hard work electorate MPs 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 leader 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 Ikaroa-Rawhiti 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.  

The stupidity of Trans Tasman’s comments shows it has failed to undertake even the most basic analysis of potential election outcomes in the Maori seats in the 2017 election. Of the seven seats, Meka is the only Labour MP not under threat from the Maori & Mana agreement seeing only one opponent running against Labour.

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.

I have heard many good things as well about Meka Whaitiri and her ability to cut through the bullshit to get to the nub of an issue.

She knows how to play hard, but she also knows how to play fair.

If Simon says she is a good MP then I believe him.

This is the problem with beltway journalists, they think Wellington is the beginning and the end of the known universe.


– HB Today


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