Region's MPs get mixed reviews

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 11:31 02/12/2013

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The annual rankings by an Australian magazine of the performance of New Zealand's MPs has meant mixed news for those from Manawatu.

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway received a 5 out of 10, up from 3.5 last year, in the annual Trans Tasman roll call that scores MPs on their performance for the year.

Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie received a 4, up from 3 last year, while Otaki MP and cabinet minister Nathan Guy also took a 4, though that was down from 5 last time.

The ninth annual roll call, judged by Trans Tasman editors and Wellington insiders, ranked deputy prime minister Bill English as the best performer for the year.

At the other end of the spectrum independent MP Brendan Horan, Labour MP Rajen Prasad and ACT leader John Banks were each given scores of 1.

The judges said Mr Lees-Galloway was "a bit adrift until his MMP bill came out of the ballot - at just the right time".

Mr Lees-Galloway had a private member's bill on changes to MMP drawn last month.

It was the second private bill of his this year.

However, the judges did not mention his bill to lower drink-driving limits, a move the Government will now make with its own legislation.

Nor did the judges mention the Labour MP's support of new leader David Cunliffe for which he was given the position of junior whip.

The judges did call Mr Lees-Galloway a "good speaker" and someone who could "handle better portfolios".

Mr Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries, was criticised for a "leaden delivery" and "leaden performance".

"Too often appears to be a mouthpiece for his officials, it would be good if he showed he was capable of saying something he had thought of himself," the judges said.

Mr Guy had a rough year with claims he was sidelined during the Government's response to the Fonterra contamination scandal.

His proposed changes to recreational snapper catch limits in the upper North Island were widely criticised.

Mr McKelvie was described by the judges as an "affable bloke, who is very effective in caucus and very well regarded by colleagues".

As a backbencher, Mr McKelvie's main focus has been on his constituency work.

This involves a lot of travelling as he represents one of the largest general electorates in the country.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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