Government MP of the Year
‘King Key’ doesn’t work with a Kiwi accent, but ‘Teflon John’ highlights how nothing stuck pre-election. From sliding polls to election dominance, he rope-a-doped his opponents. The fact that Labour and Greens are already talking about ‘Key 2017’ shows how hard the knockout was.
Opposition MP of the Year
Over the cheers and tears of election night was the sound of one man cackling. While predicted votes dried up, Peters managed to climb by almost 30 percent. Only National’s dominance stopped the great player turning 2014 into 1996. He’s not what he was, but for a man about to turn 70, it was a masterful show.
Government Fail of the Year
Judith Collins is still in Parliament. John Banks is a convicted criminal. Collins doesn’t get to use her honourable title for a while. Banks, former Minister of Police, has to do 100 hours of community service. No political party leader, especially an elected one, can claim such scandal.
Oppostion Fail of the Year
Cunliffe? Still an elected MP. Dotcom? Still massively rich. No one lost as big as Harawira. Most will point at Internet Mana as the beginning of the end, but for a couple of months it looked like a sound plan for greater influence. After all the rage and recounts, maybe Harawira finally realised ‘Internet’ came first.
Rookie of the Year
Peter Dunne, your successor has arrived! Behold the innocent, dare we say naive, face of David Seymour, a man for whom light yellow is not just a political colour, but a way of life. He often looked ridiculous (“Hi”) and yet finished 2014 the youngest leader of a political party (31), an elected MP (still counts) and in Government, possibly on his way to being Minister (although what exactly is an Under-Secretary?).
Soundbite of the Year
“I have never rung Cameron Slater in my capacity as Prime Minister” — John Key
Just when we thought the crazy was over, ‘Darth Evader’ dropped this pearl on his return to Government. Both a confession and denial at the same time, this is vintage Key. The rhythm is strangely similar to the denial of another great charmer… Bill Clinton.
Speech of the Year
“Egalitarian Man” — David Parker
No one saw this coming, especially Parker. Maybe it was the mid-morning malaise, maybe expectations were laudably low, but somehow David Parker stumbled into charisma and brought the Labour Conference alive. Or at least out of its coma. It provided a glimpse of how they might contest National’s economic ideals, and made Parker and his supporters believe in his leadership potential.
Political Moment of the Year
Judith Collins, John Banks, Dirty Politics, Internet Mana — there was some feeling the Election might be anti-climatic. Instead, we witnessed one of the great drubbings as National, for a few days at least, became the first New Zealand party to win an outright MMP majority. It not only enshrined National’s dominance, but the fractured nature of its opponents.