MPs on Twitter: Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell is the National MP for Rodney. He won election after Lockwood Smith became a list only MP at the last election. He has been a Police Officer in NZ for 13 years before spending time overseas as a hostage negotiator. He has also completed the Wharton Business School’s Executive Education Programme.


Mark is very much a new MP to Twitter. He joined in 2011, but has only started tweeting in the last few weeks.

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With only 22 (at the time of capture) tweets under his belt, these stats below are a bit meaningless. However, we can see that 1/3rd of his tweets are replies to people, which is a good way to start off. I will make the same observation to Mark that I made of Julie Anne Genter, be careful of the number of retweets you make. Since I captured this graphic, Mark has sent at least two more tweets, that were retweets. So just keep an eye on that. Twitter is meant to be about conversations, don’t drown yourself out by retweeting too much.

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With less than 30 tweets, there obviously isn’t a huge number of tweets to pick from to talk about. But here are a few.


Mark has a decent grasp of photos on Twitter. Simple images, with a good caption to go with them.


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Mark is letting his sense of humour show through on Twitter already, which is a great way to make yourself more relatable too. However there is always the risk of humour being misunderstood, so all MPs need to remember to be careful about that.

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On days like today, with bad weather hitting the country, Twitter has the potential to be a great tool for MPs to stay in touch with what is going on in their electorates, keep people there up to date with the latest weather warnings and other bits of information like that. With his rather limited following, at this point, Mark is not able to make much use of that element of Twitter. But it is obvious that he sees the advantage of it for the future.

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The other thing that Mark did yesterday, that I wish more MPs would do, is give hints about what they are going to talk about in the House. Even political tragics like myself don’t watch Parliament TV all the time. This means that we all miss out on some interesting speeches. Mark tweeted yesterday that he was going to make his speech about Kim Dotcom in the House. Obvisously with only a couple of hundred followers, the number of extra viewers would be pretty limited. But if more MPs did this, more people might actually watch Parliament TV.

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With such a small base to work from, it is hard to pass a real judgement on Mark and his use of Twitter. But so far he is giving it a good go. I will be following him closely, as one of the newer MPs on here. To see if he picks up tricks form other MPs, or if he tries to do new, interesting things. I would highly recommend Mark as a potential person to follow. It is always fun watching people learn new tools and try new things that others haven’t.