By Patrick Gower
Rodney Hide entered Parliament in 1996, a founding member of the ACT Party, he'd been involved from when it was just an idea.
It’s been a 15 year career that saw him take the party leadership and a ministerial role.
But when caught using the perks himself he was left totally discredited. The party fell down around him and now it seems like he's reached the final act - political oblivion.
Rodney Hide started his political life as the "perk buster", an acolyte of Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble.
His decision to bust open parliamentary perks set him apart.
“The idea that you can fly about the country without regard to what it’s costing or its overall expenditure to me is wrong,” he used to say.
But after taking on the establishment he took on the dance floor, dropping some weight and his partner on Dancing With the Stars.
“I never felt a dork, I learnt that kiwis actually like that someone’s out there giving it a go,” he said after being kicked off the show in 2006.
But dorky is exactly what many of his stunts became, like the canary yellow jacket.
Attention-seeking was the name of the game.
ACT became a cult of personality and all about Rodney.
He left his wife but found new love and lost his way: the self-proclaimed "perk buster" was busted for perks.
Taxpayer money was blown on trips for him and his new girlfriend to London and Hawaii, but the real political crime was his hypocrisy.
His so-called "poor judgement" becaming a habit.
Hide promoted David Garrett - a zero tolerance law and order hardliner.
But both men were hiding Garrett's secret criminal past.
“I obtained the birth certificate of a child, born around the time I was born, but who died in infancy,” Garrett eventually publicly admitted.
That scandal blew open along with the divisions in his party.
Deputy leader Heather Roy called him a bully, then she was marched from her job.
As the ACT Party died away Hide continued to evolve.
There's a new baby called Liberty, named after his political philosophy.
Hide's chased many people out of public office.
Some will see this as karma - as utu.
He's gone, he's appeared in what looks like his final act.
source: newshub archive