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Political Animal_1412

Gov­ern­ment MP of the Year

John Key

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

Win­ston Peters

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

John Banks

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 

Hone Har­awira

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

Dav­id Seymour 

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

The Elec­tion

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.