Magazine rates MPs poorly

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 07:31 05/12/2013

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Marlborough's two MPs have scored badly in an annual report by political magazine Trans Tasman.

Trans Tasman gave both Kaikoura MP Colin King and Green list MP Steffan Browning only three out of 10 for their performance in Parliament. Mr King was down one from last year's report, while Mr Browning had moved up a point.

There were just 11 MPs ranked lower than them, and 17 scored the same. Parliament has 120 MPs.

Of Mr King, the magazine said he "will find it hard to resist competition for his seat and his list ranking will not save him".

Of Mr Browning, it said he was "very earnest and very committed, but gives the impression that Parliament might not quite be the right environment for him".

Mr King said he had to decline comment, as he was involved in a candidate selection process that prevented candidates from talking to the media. He faces a challenge from Marlborough grape-grower Stuart Smith for the National Party's Kaikoura nomination.

Trans Tasman had "been crueller in the past", Mr King said. "I find it an absolute privilege to be an MP and I work as hard and as conscientiously as I can."

Mr Browning said Trans Tasman was judging on what it saw in Parliament's debating chamber, but that did not necessarily give the full picture. He did a lot of backroom work and work that flew under its radar. "They don't see me at meetings or the committees, or public meetings."

He agreed he might be earnest, but he had worked hard this term and was looking forward to next year and the following parliamentary term. "I'm very confident in my progression."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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