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Barry Soper: Who's the best PM of the last 25 years?

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 12 April 2019, 3:04PM
Key or Clark - who's your pick? (Photo / NZME)

As The Country celebrates its 25th birthday, the show is looking back on the last two decades of politicians. 

ZB Political Editor Barry Soper joined his first cousin Jamie Mackay to discuss the Prime Ministers of their time.

Soper has worked with 10 Prime Ministers since joining the Press Gallery, and has plenty of experience to compare them all. 

In terms of popularity, Soper says there is a clear standout. 

"John Key would act the goat. He'd sashay down runaways, he'd pose with students pulling silly faces, and people actually related to that." 

However, when it comes to management and caucus control, Helen Clark would win "hands down".

"She was formidable in the job. In terms of pure ability to be Prime Minister, I would think Clark I'd rate at the top," Soper says.

Challenged to add Robert Muldoom and David Lange into the list, Soper adds sticks by his list. He says Muldoom was a "tyrant" but he was enjoyable to report on, while Lange was not the innovator he was often made out to be. 

Soper also rates Jim Bolger's Government for how they tackled Maori settlement issues. 

As for the current Prime Minister, Soper says that Jacinda Ardern has been popular over the last few weeks, but her Coalition Government risks losing their political capital over issues such as Capital Gains Tax. 

"I think there is a big risk that the wheels could come off as we move back to the business of Government" 

ON AIR: Marcus Lush Nights

8PM - Midnight