Clutha-Southland MP and Deputy Prime Minister Bill
English has been named as the Trans Tasman 2013 politician of
the year, seeing off Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader
Trans Tasman, a weekly political newsletter, publishes an
annual roll call, rating how each of the MPs performed during
This year's was the ninth report.
Main Report editor-in-chief Max Bowden said the one
ministerial performance which stood out during the year was
that of Mr English.
He was not only restoring the Crown accounts to surplus but
had also got the economy ''set to fly''.
''He does more than his share of the heavy hitting on policy.
"He's driven reform in the state sector, to use resources
more effectively and deliver higher quality services. In the
House, he's become a commanding performer, blunting
He and Mr Key made a formidable team, Mr Bowden said.
With Mr English's intellectual grunt complementing Mr Key's
instinctive political ''feel'', he was the ideal deputy.
He harboured no ambition for the top job but stood his ground
when he believed he was right - as he did when the prime
minister wanted to override the independence of the Reserve
Bank applying its loan-to-value rules to first-home buyers.
Mr Bowden said it was a year in which some MPs managed to get
more than their fair share of attention - not for all the
United Future leader Peter Dunne lost his ministerial
portfolio and, for a while, his party after some serious
He would stand again in Ohariu and despite all the trauma, he
could hold it - with some help from National.
''Loses points for appalling judgement calls but we think
he'll be back.''
His score fell from 6.5 to 4.
Act New Zealand leader John Banks pushed charter schools
through the House but became a media magnet for all the wrong
Mr Banks was a huge political liability for National, with Mr
Key forced to defend him. His score rose from 0 to 1.
Mr Cunliffe's score jumped from 4.5 to 7.5. Due to changes in
Labour's rules, he managed to pull off the unthinkable and
become leader despite many in caucus not wanting him. He had
the potential to be the next prime minister but would only
get one shot.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was still at the top
of his game but was starting to suffer from ''grumpy old man
His rating was unchanged on 7.