Wow what a pain in the arse this was and it didn’t make any sense at first. Short story is .local anything didn’t work even though my domain servers had lookups for .local addresses and there was the domain suffix listed in network manager, turns out this avahi rubbish was causing the annoying problems as .local is used for multicast DNS.
The fix is so incredibly simple . . . as they always are. You can read all about .local and how avahi breaks DNS lookups for systems using .local as an internal domain.
Simple purge of some packages
sudo apt-get remove avahi-utils
sudo apt-get remove avahi-daemon
sudo apt-get remove avahi-autoipd
sudo restart network manager