Hide leaves a colourful legacy in Parliament

By Adam Bennett

Rodney Hide. Photo / Dean Purcell
Rodney Hide. Photo / Dean Purcell

Rodney Hide's colourful 15-year political career may be drawing to a close but he is unlikely and probably unwilling to be forgotten.

Since he entered Parliament in 1996, the bullet-headed former oil rig worker has been a robust and relentless exponent of right-wing policy - such as a flat tax structure and smaller government.

In the House he has been a forceful debater with a formidable knowledge of standing orders and considerable wit.

However as frequently noted by Don Brash in recent days, Mr Hide's "brand" has suffered serious damage. The "perk buster" was busted for indulging in Parliament's travel perk with a trip to Europe with his then girlfriend Louise Crome, now his second wife.

Last year it also emerged that Mr Hide had known about Act MP David Garrett's identity theft before he was selected to go on the party's list.

His handling of Act deputy Heather Roy's dissent also saw him labelled a bully.

Richard Prebble, who Mr Hide replaced as Act leader, believed Mr Hide's political career had simply just run its course.

"It will happen to John Key and it happens to everybody."

Former Act Party president Catherine Isaac said the manner in which Mr Hide had been ousted was "painful" and could have been done in a much more respectful way.

"No doubt Don has best the intentions but Rodney has done a great job and deserved better."

Mr Hide has yet to indicate what he plans to do after the November election or whether he intends to stand for parliament again, although it appears unlikely he would seek selection to contest Epsom.

Mr Hide's other options include returning to his career as an economist and academic.

"I've told him that in retirement he's going to be everybody's friend again," said Mr Prebble.

- NZ Herald

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