Backbencher of the Year

In its wrap up for the year the NEW ZEALAND HERALD named Auckland Green MP Keith Locke ”

Backbencher of the Year 2002

“. The item read:

“BACKBENCHER OF THE YEAR: The Greens Keith Locke. As a committed leftie, he has an agenda. But he kept his head as others got swept up with gung-ho backing of the so-called war on terrorism. Locke became the unofficial civil liberties watchdog, exposing the Government’s shoddy attempt to rewrite New Zealand’s counter-terrorism laws in secret. He also shed light on SAS operations in Afghanistan, making a mockery of the Government’s blanket ‘no comment’. Quite simply doing the job an Opposition MP should do.”

Political columnist Jane Clifton also gave the Greens (and Keith) a plaudit in her December 21 wrap up:

“The Greens always deserve a bouquet. They work hard, they’re always on-message. Whatever you think of their policies and philosophies, it’s impossible to fault their professionalism. Top honours go to Keith Locke, the bravest person in Parliament. However, inconvenient and unfashionable his views on free trade and military engagement, he never ceases to articulate them.”