A Baker’s Dozen of dud MP’s

Dud Muffins

A couple of weeks ago Whale Oil ran a general debate on whether MP’s should face a maximum of four terms and an age limit of 65. It’s pretty obvious that such rules have little merit.

For starters a four term limit is too short. If enacted it would see the end of 34 sitting MP’s including party leaders John Key and David Cunliffe. Also, I’m a believer in discriminating on merit first and foremost, if an MP’s over 65 and is still capable of performing effectively then why would it be fair to turf them out?

But the debate did get me thinking about ways to define what constitutes a dud MP. Instead of looking at MP’s performance in the house (which Trans Tasman already covers) or their press releases and questions (which Kiwi Blog has covered), I’ve looked at how Party’s have utilised their MPs against how many terms they’ve served.

Most Ineffectual MP’s by Terms served and Roles Appointed

RankNamePartyHighest RoleTermsAgeSexElectorateRole RankCurrent RolesTotal RolesRetiring
1Ross RobertsonLabour PartySpokesperson964MaleManukau East4427Confirmed
2Shane ArdernNational PartySpokesperson653MaleTaranaki-King Country4219Confirmed
3Eric RoyNational PartySpokesperson665MaleInvercargill4216Confirmed
4Paul HutchisonNational PartySpokesperson566MaleHunua4216Confirmed
5Lindsay TischNational PartySpokesperson565MaleWaikato4319Speculation
6Moana MackeyLabour PartySpokesperson439FemaleList4625-
7Colin KingNational PartyCommittee Deputy-Chair363MaleKaikoura1325Speculation
8Nicky WagnerNational PartyCommittee Chair360FemaleChristchurch Central1027-
9Chris AuchinvoleNational PartyCommittee Chair368MaleList1026Confirmed
10Jacqui DeanNational PartyCommittee Chair356FemaleWaitaki1026-
11David BennettNational PartyCommittee Chair342MaleHamilton East1025Speculation
12Katrina ShanksNational PartyCommittee Chair344FemaleList1037Confirmed
13John HayesNational PartyCommittee Chair365MaleWairarapa1034Speculation

What stands out from this ranking is the number of National Party members on the list, they have some real dead wood and are in desperate need of a prune.

The good news is that Ross Robertson, who I’ve ranked as New Zealand’s most ineffectual MP, has announced that he’ll retire at the end of this term. There’s also speculation that Colin King, Chris Auchinvole and David Bennett may also retire at the end of this term.

I’d wholeheartedly encourage all MP’s on this list to retire at the end of this term.

Note that only MPs who’ve served 3 or more terms have been considered for the list. Roles have been ranked using the following ranking:

RankRole
1Leader
2Deputy Leader
3Minister
4Spokesperson
5Speaker
6Deputy Speaker
7Assistant Minister
8Assistant Spokesperson
9Whip
10Committee Chair
11Assisstant Speaker
12Junior Whip
13Committee Deputy-Chair
14Committee Member

Where MP’s have served the same number of terms and have obtained the same highest role, I’ve ordered MP’s by number of currently roles (descending), then total roles appointed (ascending), and lastly age (descending) where there’s still a tie. The use of age is justified on the basis that a younger MP potentially has more time to improve their position.

  • Homepaddock

    In a big caucus not everyone can get into Cabinet – especially under MMP which requires some Ministerial roles for coalition partners. You’re wrong on several MPs: Eric Roy was a junior whip and is deputy speaker, Lindsay Tisch was deputy speaker and is now assistant speaker. Jacqui Dean and Nicky Wagner have both recently been appointed Parliamentary Private Secretaries.

    • http://www.mcmillan.org.nz/ Andrew McMillan

      Eric Roy was a junior whip and is deputy speaker, Lindsay Tisch was deputy speaker and is now assistant speaker.

      Please see the second table above, it lists the roles in order of how I’ve ranked them. Disagree with the ranking of roles if you like, but there’s no error as I’ve ranked the importance of Spokesperson above the roles of Deputy Speaker and Junior Whip.

      Jacqui Dean and Nicky Wagner have both recently been appointed Parliamentary Private Secretaries

      These roles aren’t listed against their Parliamentary bios, perhaps suggesting they’re of less importance than the highest roles I’ve afforded them.

      In a big caucus not everyone can get into Cabinet – especially under MMP which requires some Ministerial roles for coalition partners.

      Absolutely, and the underlying premise of the ranking I’ve provided is that those ones who do miss out on a Ministerial posting (or other such appointments) are the ones who the Party deems to be less up to the task.

  • Bronwen Summers

    Great stuff, Robertson has to take the top prize. He has been the most ineffectual MP for the poorest electorate in the country. He has allowed himself to be used by the Labour Party, he has never gone in to bat for his people. He has consistently said his claim to fame is standing as patron of numerous sporting clubs in South Auckland. Frankly he doesn’t have a brain in my view. Now he is standing for the local board, because, according to his electoral propaganda, he has realised working locally is where one can best have effect. What did he ever do about the loan sharks, the pokies, the fast food joints, ZILCH. He was a dam disgrace as is Labour who sucked up all these votes election after election.. without doing anything for the poorest in the country.

  • http://www.mcmillan.org.nz/ Andrew McMillan

    Since publishing this article Chris Auchinvole and Paul Hutchison have both confirmed their retirement while speculation has grown around the possible retirements of Lindsay Tisch and John Hayes. The table has been updated accordingly.

  • http://www.mcmillan.org.nz/ Andrew McMillan

    Another update, this time Katrina Shanks bows out.

  • http://www.mcmillan.org.nz/ Andrew McMillan

    Eric Roy and Shane Ardern have also recently announced their retirement and Colin King has lost his nomination for the Kaikoura candidacy so it looks like he’s on the way out too.