Cabinet Ministers were rated on their ministerial portfolio performance over the past year on a 1-5 scale, where 1 = not impressive and 5 = very impressive.

Grant Robertson's rating does not yet mirror the respect that CEOs have had in past surveys for former National PM Bill English when he held the finance portfolio.

But throughout the survey it is clear that chief executives view him as a considerable asset to the Coalition.

"Grant Robertson is doing an excellent job of selling Labour's plan. He is engaged with business and good to work with,"said Infrastructure NZ's Stephen Selwood. "Phil Twyford's ambition for transformative change is compelling.


"But the coalition needs to do what's right for New Zealand, focus on what counts and avoid their ideological agendas."

An agri chief was on the nose: "Robertson best of the bunch. Intelligent and listens. Too much smug doctrinaire crap from the others. Promised a lot that they can't deliver.

Jacinda is being dragged down by them."

Regional Economic Minister Shane Jones' mid-pack rating was clearly influenced by his personal attacks on business leaders.

"We're not in Guatemala now [Dr] Shane," said an energy chief. "He's going to get outplayed at his own game shortly."

"I think all leaders in the coalition need to give their teams the message that they need to be disciplined and deliver," said a leading company director.

"There's no room for sloppiness and their egos getting out of control."

Interview with Fletcher Building CEO and chair of Mercury NZ and The Warehouse Group. / Brett Phibbs

Other ratings — which in some cases reflect the reality that some competent Ministers have had less contact and profile with the business community — resulted in a considerable percentage of CEOs ticking the Unsure box, bringing down their overall ratings.


These include: Health Minister David Clark (2.47/5), Energy Minister Megan Woods (2.43/5), Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lee-Galloway (2.42/5), Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni (2.4/5), Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa (2.39/5), Defence Minister Ron Mark (2.35/5), Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta 2.28/5), Education Minister Chris Hipkins (2.26/5), and, Children Minister Tracey Martin (2.22/5).

Among comments: "Iain Lees-Galloway has been a disaster at business forums. Not listening and driven by his own ideology.

"If the Government wants a good relationship with business they should get him out of there — quick." (FCMG boss);

"Davis hopeless. Lees-Galloway can't hide his hatred of business and this impacts on anything Ardern tries to do. Hipkins very good but over-loaded, as is Parker. None of them very accessible." (Lobbying firm boss).

While Ministers outside Cabinet were not rated in this year's survey, a number of bosses had views.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage was slammed as a "real problem" — "Zero out of ten and only interested in a small minority of constituents.


"She will have a negative impact on this govt long term," said a construction boss. "This was a fiery bad and naive appointment — a life member of Forest and Bird as Minister of Conservation?"

Another described, Julie-Ann Genter as a standout in the Associate Transport portfolio and as Minister for Women "ensuring a much stronger voice with action for this ministry".

Labour MP Louisa Wall was also marked for promotion.