Parliament's winners, losers and most scandalous

Former National Party president Michelle Boag and left-leaning political commentator Chris Trotter take a look at the past three years in Parliament, and what it means for this year's election.

The pair spoke to Duncan Garner on The AM Show - here's what they had to say.

Biggest loser

Boag: "Metiria Turei. You have to judge a scandal by where someone started at the beginning and where they ended up. Murray McCully, Saudi sheep deal - still there, right? He retired of his own volition. Some of those other scandals, exactly the same.

"But with Metiria, she started up there and unless she wins Te Tai Tonga, she's out of Parliament. It's the greatest fall."

Trotter: "Andrew Little. He stood to be Prime Minister. With the best will in the world, you could not have said that about Metiria.

"I think the man must be feeling, even worse than having just lost the job he's seen the successor just outshine him so comprehensively... the contrast not just with Andrew, but all of her predecessors going back to her mentor Helen Clark, she has just thrown them all into shadow."

"Not many people get a chance to be Prime Minister, and lose it."

Biggest winner

Boag: "Jacinda, clearly, I think. The question is whether she's an even bigger winner - we'll find out in six weeks' time. There's no doubt the first couple of weeks she's had a great entry into the role of leader.

"I think she has exceeded expectations... which is what David Lange did. He came in and all of a sudden people were listening... She's definitely changed the game."

Trotter: "It's got to be Jacinda."

Michelle Boag and Chris Trotter.
Michelle Boag and Chris Trotter. Photo credit: The AM Show

Biggest scandal

Trotter: "Operation Burnham, and all of the events surrounding that which of course were revealed in the Hit & Run book by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson, many people got killed and injured. I think it is a standing rebuke of this Government that a proper inquiry has not been held into that."

Boag: "I think most people wouldn't even know what Operation Burnham was. This is an allegation that was made about the theatre of war where no one really knows what happened. I don't regard that as a scandal that perforated the public sentiment."

(She chose Metiria Turei's benefit fraud and subsequent resignation of the Green Party leadership, as detailed above, as the biggest scandal of the past three years.)

Most valuable player

Trotter: "I would give that to Kelvin Davis. He has beautifully balanced Jacinda Ardern as her deputy, but he's also very important in terms of shoring up teetering constituencies for Labour - Maori obviously, but also what I call 'Waitakere Man'. He's that red-blooded, down-to-earth Kiwi sort of bloke."

Boag: "The most valuable player for the National Party in this Parliament was Metiria Turei... otherwise Bill English. He has taken us through this period where the National Party could have been totally lost."

One to watch

Boag: "The one I think is going to be most impressive in the National Party isn't even in Parliament yet - that's Nicola Willis. She's a very impressive woman. Challenged a sitting MP who then said, 'Okay, I'm out of here.' That doesn't happen very often."

Trotter: "James Shaw - he's got a clear run with the Greens now. The business with Metiria has in a sense if not burned off, then certainly silenced that very radical social justice wing of the Green Party. I think he's carved out some political space for himself that just wasn't there before."