The Veteran has been 'missing in action' for a little while purchasing a new house in Paihia and arranging the auction of our farm(let). But today it was on for young and old as I battled with my golfing adversary, the Baptist Deacon, at the 9o Mile Beach Links in the regular Thursday Haggle. As it transpired he scored a net 63 and I managed a net 62 which finally convinced him that God is indeed a Tory. But I digress.
Some of you may not have seen the TransTasman MP rating for 2009. It is a mixture of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Some extracts ... you pick which category.
Chris Finlayson (7) - Seriously sincere most of the time with odd forays of chirpy insolence in the House. Finlayson is highly rated by both sides and, like Simon Power, can work across boundaries . He's going to need all of his abilities to complete the toughest task of all - a replacement of the Seabed and Foreshore Act which has broad support in Parliament. We have a feeling he's going to do it.
Colin King (2) - May not have noticed National is in power.
Rodney Hide (4) - ACT's leader crashed from his pedestal after a bad attack of perk trough, then seriously damaged himself with inane comments about John Key. Abject apology followed. Prodigious effort as Local Government Minister guiding Auckland through its transition but discovered his limits when he tried to reform local government.
Sir Woger (5) - Time warping MP hasn't changed - the Government is wasting billions, taxes are way too high, everyone else is wrong and he could fix everything. Has maintained absolute self belief since the 1980s. Often seems to make sense, which is a worry.
Te Uroroa Flavell (6) - Carried a heavy load in Parliament when his Party maintained its record of speaking on every Bill. Respected MP avoids useless rhetoric and makes a bigger contribution than is probably apparent.
Hone Harawira (0) - Apology not accepted. There are no excuses. His appalling behaviour was a disgrace. Has no respect for Parliament and shouldn't be there.
Peter Dunne (4) - No one doubts his competence as a minister but his party is sliding into obscurity. Whether he cares remains to be seen, but he may not find it easy to hang on to his electorate next time.
Ruth Dyson (4) - Hasn't really fired as shadow health minister but Tony Ryall is a very difficult target. Needs to strengthen her targets, lift her profile and drive hard issues. Disappointing. Missing Helen.
Chris Carter (3.5) - Foreign affairs appointment was unexpected and there are doubts he is the right stuff for the job. Distracted by travel perks excesses and unwise claims he was being targeted because he's gay didn't impress his colleagues. Used Samoa tsunami for self promotion. Another person missing Helen's protection.
Kelvin Davis (4) - Impressive Maori MP is listened to in the House. Has cross-over potential. A good asset.
Jeanette Fitzsimons (6) - She'll be sorely missed when she stands down in 2011. Maintained unswerving commitment , an unchallenged expert on on energy conservation the Greens won't be able to replace.
Kennedy Graham (3) - A brilliant man from an alternative universe. He's too far ahead of his time for Parliament to notice his contribution to planetary problems.
Jim Anderton (3) - Retirement beckons as his party dissolves into Labour. Spokesman for agriculture through weird coalition-in-opposition but his heart doesn't seem to be in it any more.
You can argue the toss but not the substance.