Make The Politician Work

7:00pm Sunday, June 5 on TV One

The final episode of TV ONE’s series Make The Politician Work heads down to the farm with Green MP-turned dairy farmer Keith Locke.

Keith Locke has committed a huge amount of energy in Parliament to questioning the impact of the dairy industry on clean, green New Zealand. But when he’s set to work as a dairy farmer, he faces a whole new set of challenges.

Local series, Make The Politician Work takes seven well-known New Zealand politicians to the coalface of their profession – in a positive, fascinating and sometimes amusing show.

While politicians make decisions that affect people’s everyday lives, this series places them on the frontline so they can see for themselves just how their portfolio or policy operates at ground level. The series allows MPs to show their human side, and sets out to show them, where the impact of their decision-making is felt.

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

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 tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

7:00pm Sunday, May 15 on TV One

Hitting the streets as a garbage collector has motivated politician Nikki Kaye to run a campaign to clean up waste in the city. The Auckland Central MP was taking part in TV ONE’s local series Make The Politician Work, where she was put to work on a rubbish truck for 24 hours (tonight at 7pm).

Kaye says she knew collecting rubbish would be a pretty messy and tough experience, but she was surprised at how bad Aucklanders manage waste. “The overall experience was a lot tougher than I thought, both physically and mentally, but I was also pretty sad to see how messy the streets were. I learned that we need to clean up our CBD and we can do a lot better in waste in Auckland.

“It is not just about the council doing their bit, part of it is about people taking greater responsibility in what they throw out and showing more respect for our city.”

She says the highlight of the experience was the hard-working men she teamed up with: “Meeting Darcy, Charlie and Lou, and seeing how hard they work, was one of the best things about being involved. I am sure a lot of people think their jobs are tough, but I have a lot of respect for them as they are out there in the middle of the night cleaning up everything from rotten food to broken glass.”

For Kaye, the biggest challenge besides the 3am start, was managing to continue to lift heavy rubbish bags. “My arms were pretty sore so it took a lot to keep going and make sure all the bags were cleared from the CBD.”

Make The Politician Work takes seven well-known New Zealand politicians to the coalface of their profession – in a positive, fascinating and sometimes amusing show.

While politicians make decisions that affect people’s everyday lives, this series places them on the frontline so they can see for themselves just how their portfolio or policy operates at ground level. The series allows MPs to show their human side, and sets out to show them where the impact of their decision-making is felt.

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

7:00pm Sunday, May 8 on TV One

Labour MP Shane Jones, the Opposition Spokesman for Fisheries, is often found with his fishing rod in hand. But when he’s set to work on a commercial trawler, on tonight’s episode of Make The Politician Work, it is not long before he wishes he was back on a pleasure cruiser.

Local series Make The Politician Work, takes seven well-known New Zealand politicians to the coalface of their profession – in a positive, fascinating and sometimes amusing show.

While politicians make decisions that affect people’s everyday lives, this series places them on the frontline so they can see for themselves just how their portfolio or policy operates at ground level. The series allows MPs to show their human side, and sets out to show them, where the impact of their decision-making is felt.

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

7:00pm Sunday, May 1 on TV One

After a battle for leadership of the ACT Party, Rodney Hide landed the job of Associate Minister of Education. But when he’s put to work on the frontline as a teacher aide at a special needs school, how will he fare?

Hide thought he would be okay, but he wasn’t expecting to be so touched by the experience. On tonight’s Make The Politician Work, Hide is thrown in the deep end at Parkside School in Pukekohe (at 7pm on TV ONE).

Make The Politician Work takes seven well-known New Zealand politicians to the coalface of their profession – in a positive, fascinating and sometimes amusing new series.

While politicians make decisions that affect people’s everyday lives, this series places them on the frontline so they can see for themselves just how their portfolio or policy operates at ground level. It also allows MPs to show their human side and shows them where the impact of their decision-making is felt.

Hide says the best thing about being involved in the series was being part of the school day. “Previously I had just visited Special schools for an hour or two at a time. It was tremendous to work alongside the teachers and to be with the students from the time they arrived, until they left. I really got to know what is involved in their school day.

“It made me feel a part of the team that makes up the Special Education sector, rather than just the Minister. Seeing the students and the teachers rising to their challenges have inspired me to rise to mine.”

Hide says, everyone was very supportive and helped him get up to speed quickly. The biggest challenge was learning to understand what each student needed and would respond to. “I had to quickly learn how to communicate with the children I was working with.”

Working with one little girl in particular was of significance to him. “Charlee stole my heart and I was sad to say goodbye to her. It was great to go back to see her and I felt she remembered me.”

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

7:00pm Sunday, April 24 on TV One

New local series which takes seven well-known New Zealand politicians to the coalface – in a positive, fascinating and sometimes amusing new series.

While politicians make decisions that affect people’s everyday lives, this series places them on the frontline so they can see for themselves just how their portfolio or policy operates at ground level.

What happens when the Minister of Social Development works in a soup kitchen, the former Minister of Labour picks asparagus and the Associate Minister of Education works as a teachers aide. What do they see? How do they feel? Will their observations change the way they govern the country?

Make The Politician Work allows MPs to show their human side and sets out to show them at the real coalface where the impact of their decision-making is felt.

Episode one sees Paula Bennett, who controls one third of the Government’s entire budget, thrown headlong into a very different kind of working day when she exchanges the Ministry of Social Development for the Wellington City Mission. Donning an apron and hairnet to serve up meals to the homeless, will this frugal Minister find it hard to open the till?

Bennett says of her current position in the cabinet, “the budget of my portfolios are about 21 billion dollars, which is a huge amount of money,” which is a long way from her early adulthood in which she raised a baby as a single mum.

She says of this period in her life, “I can remember standing on my doorstep, with a crying child inside, and probably smoking a cigarette, and looking out and just thinking there’s going to be more boyfriends and more babies and this is going to be it.”

But Bennett decided she wanted a better life for her family and enrolled in university, “I was going to have to work really, really hard, and take the falls with it to make that sort of change,” reveals the Minister.

“When I first came to Wellington I used to walk through those doors and literally catch my breath and go ‘oh my goodness I am part of this’,” she says of beginning her career in politics.

As she prepares to take part in the show she says, “there’s always a bit of nervousness when you’re not sure what’s going to happen in your day and how much control you’re going to have – I am a bit of a control freak.”

When Bennett learned she would be working with the City Mission in Make The Politician Work she was initially apprehensive “I wonder what they’ll think of me, and whether or not they’ll think I’m just this sort of Minister that’s swanking in.”

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