With Parliament sitting today for the last time before the election on September 23, political editor Audrey Young assesses the winners and losers of the past term.

MPs enter Parliament brimming with such ambition that disappointment and failure in politics is more prevalent than success.

Some MPs and ministers have had lashings of both.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman did a great job in getting the Cabinet to support the historic $2 billion pay equity settlement for aged-care and support workers.


But health has started to become a problem area for the Government this year and Coleman's combative style has been a hindrance, not a help.

Nick Smith has a grasp for detail but no longer for politics. He has trashed his reputation on a series of housing and environmental issues this term, most recently the claim that Labour's water tax would cost $600 billion.

Judith Collins can be classed a winner, compared to how she started the term, on the back bench having been forced to resign as a minister under a cloud during the 2014 election campaign.

She was reinstated part-way during the term, then given Energy and Revenue by Bill English.

She has been on her best behaviour, showing no outward signs of ambition (other than a faux challenge of English for the leadership) and has applied her bent for populism to tax issues.

Chris Finlayson has been a highly productive minister, getting 16 treaty settlement bills passed in the Parliament this term, out of 287 passed altogether.

Chris Bishop has been one of the outstanding backbenchers.

He almost beat Trevor Mallard in Hutt South but entered Parliament on National's list. In less than one term he has had almost two private members bills passed - the first one which passed raised compensation for organ donors, and the second one, which is 40 minutes of debate away from being passed, closes a loophole which allowed the Ted Dawe book Into the River being banned temporarily.


He also chairs the prestigious finance and expenditure committee.

Michael Wood has been an impressive figure in Labour's backbench after winning the Mt Roskill byelection in December.

He is already one of the party's hopes as future leader - well into the future.

The Green Party's Julie Anne Genter (the one with the American accent) has enhanced her reputation, needling away daily at Simon Bridges on transport, which earned a promotion from No 8 on the party list to No 3.

The Maori Party's Marama Fox began the term as a new MP and with huge shoes to fill as co-leader, replacing Tariana Turia. She has well and truly been noticed, with a larger than life personality, and her willingness to work with Opposition parties.

The failures this term, especially in the past few weeks, have been pronounced with the resignation of two party leaders, Andrew Little as Labour leader and Metiria Turei as Green co-leader.


Little's failure to connect with voters had such as impact on support that he stood to lose his own list seat.

But he has been rewarded with the No 3 list position, behind Jacinda Ardern and deputy Kelvin Davis, as a reward for doing the right thing.

Sue Moroney made a big impact as a Labour backbencher, particularly in paid parental leave, but failed to build sufficient relationships in her own party to retain a winnable list position.

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay trashed his own career before even completing his first term by recording his electorate secretary and then failing to manage the political and legal fallout properly. Had he followed his own instincts rather than taking advice, he might have saved himself.

The most recent loser has been Labour frontbencher Chris Hipkins, who has damaged his credibility by claiming to have asked questions about New Zealand citizenship to minister Peter Dunne (one of the 42, 239 written questions) without knowing anything about Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

That was as convincing as Bill English originally claiming he didn't know who had told him that Barclay had recorded his electorate agent.