The tipline is saying that a much broader net is being cast looking for a replacement for Roger Bridge. The parliamentary wing are concerned that there is no natural successor to Peter Goodfellow, who is rumoured to be thinking of standing down so he doesn’t have to fundraise for the 2014 election. Of course Peter Goodfellow has his own bad news stories that follow him around like a bad smell. On Thursday Sanford was again in the news for all the wrong reasons. With Goodfellow on their board they have been accused of using slave labour and beenÂ prosecutedÂ for illegal dumping and pollution in American Samoa.
It is likely that National will have to bring in a strong leader from outside the current board to replace Peter, and this is an opportunity to bed someone in before they replace Peter.
The name that immediately springs to mind is Wira Gardiner. Long time readers will remember that this blog took a hostile position on Wiraâ€™s candidacy in 2009, as he was too conflicted given his wife was on caucus. His ham-fisted campaign managed by Michelle Boag counted against him and he did not win a seat on the board.
This blog is willing to admit mistakes and Wira would have been a far better president than Peter. The conflict of interest is a problem, but both Wira and Hekia are professional enough to manage it. After smashing up Nick Smith so effectively Boag is no longer a player in National, and Wira would not be seeking advice from her.
If Wira were available he would make fine board member, and could take over from Peter Goodfellow next July, leading the party wing of National into the 2014 election. On a board of non-entities he would be a real leader.