ASK ME ANYTHING: Chris Bishop

The backbencher of the year answers your questions about his private member's bill to boost funding for organ donors, his friendship with Greens co-leader James Shaw, his admiration for Labour's David Parker, the government's sluggish record on RMA reform, his past as a lobbyist for Big Tobacco and more on NBR Radio.

UPDATE: Click the box above to hear Chris Bishop answer your questions about his private member's bill to boost funding for organ donors, his friendship with Greens co-leader James Shaw, his admiration for Labour's David Parker, the government's sluggish record on RMA reform, his past as a lobbyist for Big Tobacco and more on NBR Radio.

Chris Bishop is next up in the AMA chair.

When Mr Bishop entered Parliament at the last election as a list MP, he seemed like a man with a target on his back.

And I have to say, I was one of those who took to Twitter to groan National had selected a candidate whose previous career highlight was spin-doctoring for Big Tobacco.

Now I find myself going out of my way to give the guy a bit of extra exposure.

What's happened?

Veteran political commentator Richard Harmon summed up in a Politik post last month:

[Bishop] had precisely the sort of CV that cynics around Parliament believe means its owner is inevitably headed for a fall.

But it hasn’t happened.

Instead he has confounded his critics to the point where his name appeared last year on virtually every media shortlist as backbencher of the year.

It's been rumoured that John Key might break his own rule and elevate Mr Bishop to cabinet during the Lower Hutt-based MP's first term.

Mr Harmon enthuses about Bishop as a softer face of National.

His widely admired maiden speech referenced his waterfront worker greatgrandfather’s 1951 waterfront strike loyalty card and his father’s farming National voting family thus introducing the House to a person somewhat more complex than they might have imagined.

In many ways he is a sign that something is changing in the National Party.

See previous installments of Ask Me Anything by clicking the AMA tab on our menu bar, or bookmarking www.nbr.co.nz/ask-me-anything.

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