David Farrar goes back to the days when Helen Clark controlled the Labour Party. She controlled it with an iron fist, partly because she was so much more competent than her caucus colleagues.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the parliamentary party and the party organization were divided, the Labour Party leader had very little influence over candidate selection. In fact, some interviewees reported that in 1993, the party president and her allies deliberately influenced candidate selection to move the ideological orientation of caucus to the left and to replace the incumbent leader (which is how Clark came to the leadership in 1993). However, under Helen Clark’s leadership, during which time the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary wings were far more united, many interviewees reported that she did influence many electorate selections
Clark was firmly in control. Now, no one is.
Then Farrar pointed out the truth about the National Party.
By the way this can not happen in National. The head office gets zero say at all on selection meetings. Their role is just the traditional veto early on of totally unsuitable candidates.
As a National candidate you can tell the party to stick it and there is nothing they can do. National candidates are selected by mainly local delegates and long term party members who will pick the person they want, not who the leader or the party want. The classic example is David Kirk not being able to beat Clem Simich in Tamaki.
If National cant rig a selection for a world cup winning All Black captain who received a Rhodes scholarship they can’t rig a selection.