Make The Politician Work on One

7:00pm Sunday, May 29 on TV One

Make The Politician Work is the TV ONE series that takes our politicians to the coalface of their profession, to experience first-hand how their portfolios or policies operate at ground level, and coming face to face with the direct impacts of their parliamentary decision making.

Viewers have watched the Minister of Social Development working in a soup kitchen, the former Minister of Labour picking asparagus, and the Associate Minister of Education working as a teacher’s aide.

In this episode, National Party rising star Simon Bridges exchanges a normal day at the office for picking up doggie-do at the SPCA.

The MP for Tauranga has helped protect many a four-legged friend with his animal welfare legislation, but he says he learnt more in one day working with the centre’s stray and abandoned dogs than he has in the past two years.

Simon says his eyes were opened after meeting a puppy that had been abused by some young children.

“I was thinking about what society was doing wrong, where children could have such a lack of empathy and understanding…that they would think it was okay to get stuck into and hurt a little doggy.

“It really made me think about how the education done by the SPCA, not only within their SPCA villages but also in schools, is so critical.”

Simon says it’s reinforced to him the importance of his day job.

“It’s really brought home to me the importance of legislation like the one that I helped make, but it also showed me the limits of law change, and the way we actually need to get the message out wider is educate, educate, educate, and that starts young. I’d like to commit and do more to seeing more of that happen.”

On a more practical level, he admits the gig was also very hard work.

“It’s not just bringing in dogs, there’s actually a whole lot of food and thinking that goes into making sure [the animals] are cared for and fed. It’s a real operation they’ve got going on here.”

And it’s a world away from a day in politics!

“I wouldn’t be sweaty and walking around with water and poo and stuff,” he says. “There would be a lot more coffee and sausage rolls involved!”

Missed an episode of Make The Politician Work? Full episodes are available online. Go to and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

Subscribe to our mailing list

About the author