National have a fresh crop of new MPs coming into parliament. The media have largely ignored them so here is some background from my perspective.
Mike Sabin: Northland
Mike won Northland bloody well, increasing John Carter’s majority by over a thousand votes. He was the only new candidate to increase his majority. An ex cop he has built a reputation fighting against P, a fight that needs to be had and few are willing to engage in. Regarded as being a solid rather than outstanding performer the election result means Mike deserves a closer look from the political pundits.
Mark Mitchell: Rodney
A real star on the international stage, Mark built a business in the Middle East that meant he was involved in major disaster recovery efforts around the globe, hostage negotiation and was decorated for bravery. Before that Mark was a police dog handler and has restricted use of his right arm after being attacked by a samurai sword. The only member of the new intake who has had media companies wanting to buy his life story. Won a bruising selection process, and soundly beat the Conservative leader Colin Craig in Rodney. Mark is a warm friendly guy who has the reputation for listening first, not talking non stop.
Maggie Barry: North Shore
Already a Whaleoil favourite for speaking her mind on Andrew Williams and telling Len that his railway won’t go ahead, Maggie comes to parliament with a positive reputation in the minds of the New Zealand public. Hopefully her career will be more successful than fellow media personality Pam Corkery, but this will depend on Maggie understanding the importance of listening before speaking, and that politics is a brutal game. If she doesn’t learn to listen with luck she will continue sledging Andrew Williams and stop the inner city loop.
Scott Simpson: Coromandel
Long time Whaleoil friend and National Party stalwart Scott has plenty of history in the party, though not all that history is necessarily working in his favour. Regarded as a little indiscrete, as a result there is a significant minority of caucus that simply doesn’t trust him, unfortunately for Scott that minority is called The Cabinet. Scott will need to do the hard yards on the backbenches to earn back the trust of caucus and cabinet.
Ian McKelvie: Rangitikei
Another Whaleoil favourite, Ian replaced Simon Power, so deserves thanks from all Whaleoil readers. He also has trenchant views on global warming and the ETS, views that may not be entirely consistent with political reality, even if they are entirely consistent with actual reality. Unfortunately for Ian he has probably left his run a bit late in life and faces the challenge that all Mayors face, going from being the boss to being a back bencher.
Paul Goldsmith: List
Bought into parliament on the list to save ACT. A former Auckland City Councilor who failed to beat Cathy Casey to get onto the supercity. Not regarded as having much talent as a vote winner, but a man with a formidable intellect who has made very good money as a contract historian writing biographies. Will be interesting to see if his time as a councilor has taught him that compromise is crucial in politics, as he was known to drive his peers to distraction with his adherence to politically pure views.
Alfred Ngaro: List
A good speaker, as is probably expected of a former pastor. Part of National’s ethnic outreach program, but with a track record in the pasifika community, and involvement in social services that mean he is not just a token. Will have three years to prove he deserves his list position, but expected to deliver as he has a history of achievement.
Jian Yang: List
Not particularly well known in National circles but has already been responsible for ensuring that donations start flowing after the gap left by Pansy Wong and her trust fund. Speaks better English than Pansy too. Jian Yang is part of National’s Asian outreach programme.