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

Rank Name Party Highest Role Terms Age Sex Electorate Role Rank Current Roles Total Roles Retiring
1 Ross Robertson Labour Party Spokesperson 9 64 Male Manukau East 4 4 27 Confirmed
2 Shane Ardern National Party Spokesperson 6 53 Male Taranaki-King Country 4 2 19 Confirmed
3 Eric Roy National Party Spokesperson 6 65 Male Invercargill 4 2 16 Confirmed
4 Paul Hutchison National Party Spokesperson 5 66 Male Hunua 4 2 16 Confirmed
5 Lindsay Tisch National Party Spokesperson 5 65 Male Waikato 4 3 19 Speculation
6 Moana Mackey Labour Party Spokesperson 4 39 Female List 4 6 25 -
7 Colin King National Party Committee Deputy-Chair 3 63 Male Kaikoura 13 2 5 Speculation
8 Nicky Wagner National Party Committee Chair 3 60 Female Christchurch Central 10 2 7 -
9 Chris Auchinvole National Party Committee Chair 3 68 Male List 10 2 6 Confirmed
10 Jacqui Dean National Party Committee Chair 3 56 Female Waitaki 10 2 6 -
11 David Bennett National Party Committee Chair 3 42 Male Hamilton East 10 2 5 Speculation
12 Katrina Shanks National Party Committee Chair 3 44 Female List 10 3 7 Confirmed
13 John Hayes National Party Committee Chair 3 65 Male Wairarapa 10 3 4 Speculation

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:

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