The release of the Labour Party list has been met with scorn and derision by political commentators, bloggers and newspaper editors.
The full list of 70 was released over the weekend, but it has drawn an immediately negative response.
The first 30 on the list are:
- Jesus Christ
- Elizabeth I
- Alexander the Great
- Jane Austen
- Albert Einstein
- Mohandas Gandhi
- Florence Nightingale
- Marie Curie
- Sir Edmund Hillary
- Mother Teresa
- Abraham Lincoln
- Aung San Suu Kyi
- Sir Ernest Shackleton
- Queen Victoria
- Elizabeth Blackwell
- Joan of Arc
- Nelson Mandela
- Jodie Foster
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Rosa Parks
- Amelia Earhart
- Captain Chesley Sullenberger
- Queen Elizabeth II
- William Shakespeare
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Helen Mirren
- Audrey Hepburn
- Martin Luther King
Blogger Campbell Slug described the list as “seventy tired and useless losers”, while the New Zealand Herald editorial said the list was “unimaginative, uninspiring and elderly. There is no freshness in what Labour has to offer.”
Left wing pundit and newspaper columnist Mike McMartin said Labour had lost the opportunity to blood fresh talent, and was instead relying on “a miserable cast of has-beens, failures and retreads.”
Political commentator Martin Hooterson savaged the list in his weekly political column, comparing the Labour list unfavourably with the recently-released National one.
“The Nats have time and time again shown they have a knack for blending youth and experience in their list choices,” said Mr Hooterson in his column.
“Mixing the experience of the likes of Genghis Khan and Richard Nixon with the youthful vigour of Justin Bieber and Brittany Spears is bound to pay off for National at the polls this year when people come to choose who to give their party vote to.
“Jesus Christ may be well-meaning, but his earnest do-good brand of socialism has no show when compared with the hard-nosed realism and business nous of Judas Iscariot.”
“The Labour selections are just a mishmash of old farts, screaming leftists and dreamers.”
TVNZ’s political editor Gary Escargot said the selection of Alexander the Great at number three on the list was a sign of desperation by Labour.
“Labour prompted Alexander because he conquered half the known world. But choosing a man who only gets half the job done is typical of a party lacking a clear policy focus.”
TV3 political editor Dwayne Gardner also slammed the selections, and predicted the public would vote with their feet.
“The decision to include Sir Ernest Shackleton is a bold step, but it may come back to haunt them,” said Mr Gardner.
“He may know a thing or two about snow, but has he ever been under any serious pressure?”
Religious leaders have also slammed the list, noting that it includes only one messiah, one prophet and one saint.
And the Bisexual Playwrights Association is fuming that only one of its members was selected.
But the harshest criticism of all was leveled at Labour by its opponents.
National Party strategist and blogger Ming the Merciless wrote of the list: “Our enemies have shown how truly feeble they are. Now we shall crush them with our space fleet! Launch rockets! Destroy them all! Bwah ha ha ha ha! Bwa ha ha ha ha!”