My political winners and losers of the year.
1. JOHN KEY
For all the obvious reasons. He is still the PM and he is still widely popular according to the polls. He had the kitchen sink thrown at him and he almost won the election outright. He'll have to watch it doesn't go to his head.
Listen to John Key on the Hour of Power:
2. ANDREW LITTLE
Couldn't win a fight in a kindergarten but ends the year on top. His caucus didn't want him, his party didn't want him, his electorate didn't want him. Yet he ends the year looking strong and competent as Labour's new leader.
3. KELVIN DAVIS
He beat Hone Harawira and therefore beat Kim Dotcom - do I have to say anymore?
4. SUE BRADFORD
She knew Dotcom and Harawira were in an unholy alliance and she put her principles before it all. She called it right - she has values and principles that are beyond reproach whether you agree with her politics or not.
5. CAM SLATER - WHALEOIL.
Yes he's a dirt-bag, muck-raking, scum-bag attack blogger, but he likes it that way. He doesn't play by any rule book yet he's been judged a journalist by the courts. Despite having his dirty laundry aired for the world to see he remains talked about, his blog gets more hits than ever, he breaks stories and the PM returns his texts. Oh and he wins mainstream media awards.
Listen to Duncan Garner and Paddy Gower grill Cameron Slater:
(Close mention: Paula Bennett, now talked about as the next National Party Leader)
1. KIM DOTCOM
Threw millions at trying to rig an election, but the public weren't fooled. He's now fighting to stay out of jail. Rest my case.
2. HONE HARAWIRA
He picked the wrong rich friends. Should have stayed poor. At least he'd still be in Parliament. Woeful judgement.
3. LAILA HARRE
4. JUDITH COLLINS
Was on track to be the next National Party Leader - now she's struggling to be heard from the backbenchers. Huge fall from grace. Career in tatters.
5. DAVID CUNLIFFE
Came across as a fake and then apologised for being a man. Do we have to say anything more? Awful defeat.
(Close mention: Grant Robertson, rejected twice as Labour's future leader. That will hurt and in politics if winning if everything, Robertson has twice failed. Ouch. Still, he has huge chance to recover well.)
Duncan Garner and 3News political editor Paddy Gower look back at the year in politics and name their top politicians:
source: data archive