Ruth Dyson selected as Government whip

Labour's Ruth Dyson.
Labour's Ruth Dyson. Photo credit: Newshub.

Labour has elected Ruth Dyson as senior Government whip.

It will be her job to keep the MPs in line, to enforce caucus discipline and act as a kind of team musterer - in fact, 'musterer' is the name the Greens give their whip.

Often the role of chief whip is a stepping stone to a senior position or ministerial role within the party. 

Ms Dyson didn't want to comment until the position was officially announced tomorrow, but her name on the whip's door gives it away.

Ruth Dyson will be Labour's senior whip.
Ruth Dyson will be Labour's senior whip. Photo credit: Newshub.

Ms Dyson will earn a base salary of $179,000, plus thousands in bonuses for Labour MPs.

The term 'whip' comes from the 18th century British Parliament. It's an old-fashioned term for a hunter's assistant, who makes sure dogs stay with the pack during a hunt. 

The whips help settle differences in the caucus, makes sure MPs are at select committees and the House when they are needed, and casts votes on behalf of their parties.

Ms Dyson is the Labour MP for Port Hills, Christchurch.