Gareth Hughes is a Green Party list MP, he is also the Green’s “musterer” (their version of a party whip). In the past he has run as a candidate in the Ohariu seat, but focusing on the party vote. However this time he is going list only.
“I have taken on a strategic role going list-only to grow our vote vote” – Gareth Hughes via Twitter Direct Message
Gareth is a solid user of Twitter. He is one of the few MPs who has a reasonable number of followers. 11,000 Tweets is also a good effort.
One of the things that Gareth excels at is actually engaging with people who follow him. He is also willing to have discussions via Direct Message.
The above screen grab is about my Tips for MPs/Candidates on Twitter. Gareth has a very mature attitude to Twitter and trolls, something with some of his older colleagues could take a lesson from. I know from experience, Gareth will engage with people from both sides of the political divide and will answer genuine questions.
Gareth, holding the roll he does in the Greens, obviously uses his account as a way to promote the party. But he does it in a generally positive way. Plus his account isn’t just a Green party broadcast stream.
Gareth has a pretty decent sense of humour, and will take things pretty well. I suspect being called a Mollyhawk by Shane Jones will be worn as a badge of pride by Gareth.
I am surprised that this post didn’t pick up more engagement. It is an interesting question about why Sign Language, which is an official language of New Zealand, isn’t recognised in Parliament. I suspect if Gareth used an image with this post, it may have generated more engagement.
Recently Gareth has been posting a number of images with a decidedly yellow/green tone. I asked him about this, he said he does “experiment with images and try to post good ones. Doesn’t always happen though ;-)” In this case, I think the images themselves are good. However the yellow tone isn’t. It has a habit of making the people in them look sick. For MPs, it is better to stick with natural looking images, with accurate colours. Try and maintain consistency.
I will say it again though, MPs should be doing more to promote small businesses/organisations that they support, and helping them spread the word about them. MPs have a lot of name recognition, they should be using this to help promote things they support.
Overall Gareth is someone that other MPs can look to for an example of how to do things on Twitter. As with anyone, there are areas where he could improve, but overall he is one of the better MPs on Twitter. I look forward to seeing what he might get up to during the campaign.