Labour MP names Judith Collins politician of the year

Labour MP Michael Wood would go to drastic lengths not to defect to the National Party.

Asked on The AM Show on Friday what he'd rather do, the second-term MP didn't hold back.

"Cut off my toes and stick them in my ears," he told host Duncan Garner, prompting sportsreader Mark Richardson to ask if anyone had a knife.

Mr Wood and National MP Judith Collins are regulars on The AM Show, and Friday marked their last face-off for 2018 ahead of the Christmas break.

Asked what her highlight of the political year was, Ms Collins said the 46 percent National got in a recent poll was "pretty jolly good".

"My personal highlight would be holding Phil Twyford to account on KiwiBuild, and I think that the whole team working really hard all the way through - except for one particular person - I think has been great."

That one person was Jami-Lee Ross, who was expelled from the party the same day he quit after accusing leader Simon Bridges of breaking the law.

"I'm really disappointed with the whole Jami-Lee Ross situation... To see the lack of trust but also what he did to Simon Bridges and the caucus I thought was pretty hard."

Mr Wood was asked for his favourite politician of the year.

"This is a tie. Firstly it's the Prime Minister. But tied with the Prime Minister it's Judith Collins," he said.

"The reason for this is they're both conviction politicians; Jacinda Ardern sums up the values and positivity of the Labour Party, and I think Judith, to her credit - I don't agree with much of what she says, she's sometimes got some pretty hard-right views - but she says what she believes, and I think the National Party needs that."

Michael Wood gifted Judith Collins a set of tongs.
Michael Wood gifted Judith Collins a set of tongs. Photo credit: The AM Show

Richardson accused Mr Wood of being a "scheming little man".

"You are trying to destabilise the leadership position in the National Party, aren't' you?

"I don't think the National Party needs me to destabilise their leader," Mr Wood replied.

Ms Collins accepted the compliment.

"I am always taking every accolade I can possibly get. After 16 years in politics I don't really care if they say something nice or nasty, as long as they are mentioning my name."

She didn't return the favour however, naming outgoing Chris Finlayson as her pick.

"But I'd also put a big shoutout to Simeon Brown, Chris Penk, Erica Stanford and all of the 2017 team that have come in. They're very positive, hard-working people."

Mr Wood noted they were all backbenchers she might want to vote for her in a potential leadership showdown with Mr Bridges, who's struggling in the preferred Prime Minister polls.

"That's Judith's shadow Cabinet."

As for the summer break, Mr Wood says he'll be spending it with family on the East Cape - but after a short holiday in Fiji, Ms Collins wants to get back to work.

"I will work on the reforming of the Resource Management Act by taking it out, shooting it out the back and putting in a new Bill. That will be my summer job. Taking it out the back and shooting it."