Peter Goodfellow

Board skullduggery in the Clutha Southland Selection

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Glenda Hughes, dabbling in selection skullduggery

There is skullduggery going on  in Clutha-Southland with a shabby move against Todd Barclay which is being orchestrated quietly by the former MP, currently residing in Karori, and assisted by at least one stroppy board member intent on taking the presidency.

Richard Harman has the first signs of the skirmish:

[S]peaking yesterday to POLITIK, Barclay said he welcomed the challenge.

“The party has got a democratic process, and that’s one of the strengths of the party; anybody can put themselves up to stand in any electorate at any time,” he said.

“I think my team and I have done a great job over the past three years of working really hard to try and build up the seat to where it is now.”

Barclay implies that the electorate was slightly rundown when he took it over from English.

“Having a senior MP as the local MP for a long period of time has meant that he has obviously had other responsibilities whereas now I live here, I’m based here, and I’m doing a lot of hard work to try and build up what we’ve got in terms of the party infrastructure.”

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The knives are out…as they should be

The National party, in the past, has been very effective at cutting out cancer. After the 2002 debacle the board moved very quickly to cut cancer out and Boag and English were knifed.

Now one of those fools is back meddling and it cost Auckland a centre-right council. Michelle Boag is a cancer in National. Maurice Williamson once described her as a boil that needed lancing. That has not changed.

The knives are out in the National Party after the centre-right’s disastrous result at last weekend’s local elections in Auckland.

Mayoral candidate Vic Crone trailed Labour Phil Goff from start to finish.

Goff’s name recognition and political experience were too much of a mountain to climb for Crone in 10 months. Having two other centre-right contenders, John Palino and Mark Thomas, confused voters and made matters worse.

The immediate post mortem is focused on National’s de facto ticket Auckland Future, which bombed horribly.

Auckland Future set out to create a citywide ticket and secure a majority of centre-right councillors on Auckland Council. It stood seven council candidates and endorsed media personality Bill Ralston in Waitemata and Gulf. It came away with one seat. Of the 25 candidates who stood for a Local Board, six were elected.

On the North Shore, where National holds every electorate seat, Auckland Future was taken to the cleaners by four centre-left, liberal candidates. From a base in Parnell, Auckland Future nobbled the sitting centre-right North Shore councillor George Wood, who could have won.

On election day, not a single National MP turned up at Crone’s function at the Cav tavern in Freemans Bay. Act leader David Seymour was the only MP in attendance. Seven National MPs, including junior cabinet ministers Maggie Barry, Paul Goldsmith and Nikki Kaye, were at her campaign launch.

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Richard Harman on National’s Auckland cock-up

Richard Harman gets right down to tin tacks in assessing National’s Auckland debacle.

The centre-left have now won control of the Auckland and Wellington Councils.

This will be a major morale booster for the Labour Party though Andrew Little was quick to say that it did not necessarily translate into improved chances for the party at the next election.

For National the result is more troubling.

There will now be a debate about why the centre right candidates so comprehensively lost.

In short, how did the centre right blow it.

And there will be a debate (again) about whether, like Labour, the party should become more involved in local body elections.

That may be particularly relevant in Wellington where two centre-right candidates with National Party connections stood for Mayor.

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Crone having “lunch” in public to send some “cup of tea” signals

Turns out our Vic is a bit of a trophy hunter.

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Photo by Herald reporter Corazon Miller who just happened to be there by complete happenstance

In a clear display of support, National MP Paula Bennett has been spotted [there just happened to be a Herald journo there!] having lunch with one of the front-runners for the Auckland mayoralty.

She was spotted [spotted!] yesterday with candidate Victoria Crone at Ponsonby’s Prego restaurant where she confirmed they’d met to “conspire on a good campaign”.

While declaring her strong support for Ms Crone’s campaign, the MP stopped short of declaring her presence was an official party endorsement.

Well, no. That would be against John Key’s strict rules of not getting involved in local body politics. But apparently you can be “spotted” just fine by journalists who just happen to “spot” you and then you tell them in gushing detail that the candidate is the second coming of Jesus, except, not officially, because John Key said, “No.” Read more »

Mayoral candidate Goff meets with wife of National Party president

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…and apparently there is nothing to it.

Labour MP Phil Goff looks set to announce next month that he will stand for the Auckland Mayoralty – but denied a report he has talked about the deputy mayor’s role with Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson.

Mr Goff told the Herald he had met Ms Simpson, the wife of National Party president Peter Goodfellow, on a couple of occasions in her role as local board chair.

“I have said if I was to run as a mayoral candidate it wouldn’t be on a ticket, but as an independent. Read more »

Nats prepared to do deal with devil

National are all at sea with local body politics.

Richard Harman at Politik reveals what everyone in Auckland has known for some time, that National doesn’t want to compete in local body politics and is prepared to do a deal to support Phil Goff.

Prominent Auckland National Party members and some MPs are working on a plan intended to give the centre right control of the Auckland Council.

The plan has been discussed by National’s Caucus and Party President Peter Goodfellow indicated at last weekend’s party conference that the party’s board would soon discuss how National dealt with local body elections.

Mr Goodfellow said that knowing that the Caucus has already ruled out allowing centre right candidates to stand under the National brand as Labour and Green candidates are.

Caucus are self-interested numpties…including Jami-lee Ross who declared to caucus that he didn’t want another Nat stomping around in his electorate.

But the plan Richard talks about isn’t really a plan.

It involved Paul Goldsmith, together with Desley Simpson, trotting around talking to people about something, they’re not quite sure what, but it won’t involve Maurice (just quietly) and #win.

They have no policy, no vehicle and no plan….worse they have no money for such a debacle.    Read more »

The Upcoming National Party Board Election

The National Party Board has an election for the first time in many years.

Caucus favourite and all round good bloke Grant McCullum is retiring, much to the disappointment of all those who have enjoyed many late nights out with him over the years. The National Party will be a sadder place for not having Grant around, and the party needs to consider how it brings the fun-loving type onto the board as the rest are very, very boring compared to Grant.

The other retirement is the (unfortunately) underwhelming scion of one of New Zealand’s most stellar families – Malcolm Plimmer, whose health is compelling him to retire.   Read more »

It is hard to know if Frances O’Sullivan is serious

Frances O’Sullivan has a frankly strange and meandering column in today’s ‘newspaper’.

In her column she makes this bizarre statement:

Increasingly there is also talk of a coalition of like-minded politicians to get Auckland moving.

Under this scenario, Labour MP Phil Goff is being touted as a mayoral candidate with the right-of-centre faction being led by Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson.

Goff – who has been gallivanting in Rome this week with close friends former Labour political colleague Darren Hughes, Australian Ambassador Mike Rann (also a Kiwi) and Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers – has been part of the Auckland political scene for decades.

He is supposedly cut from Labour’s cloth.

But Goff is from the blue jeans brigade that made up the “Vietnam era” generation of politicians. The university lecturers, lawyers, and urban professionals who joined Labour in the 1970s and early 1980s with a clear aim to overthrow the spendthrift prime minister Sir Robert Muldoon, liberalise the New Zealand economy and get the nation focused on “paying its way”.   Read more »

We’ve dissected Labour, now what about the Tories?

Labour’s troubles have been dissected after the UK election disaster.

But what about the Tories?

Political parties that win often do not have a critical review done to improve. That is certainly the case with National here. No review is currently underway for Northland, and Steve Joyce and John Key have decided that none is really warranted because they are still riding high in the polls.

There is a reticence to change the board. They keep winning, as does the president – and so the board gets older, and more stale. Worse some practices have developed that are now seeing talent driven from the party because they don’t subscribe to the infallibility of the board. Excuses are made for refreshing the board…”it’s election year, don’t rock the boat”, or “we just won no need for change”, leaving a window of only one year to make those changes.

The Conservatives have the same problems cropping up now.

Breitbart looks at this, and it is funny how similar it is to the National party.:

I am as happy as the next conservative that the Party confounded all predictions and achieved the majority that has returned David Cameron for the next 5 years. Business and the stock market understandably breathed a huge sigh of relief.

But it is also clear that something sinister and fundamentally un-conservative has infected the way the Party conducts itself. More than ever before, it is consumed with a nasty, controlling and centralized culture that demands unquestioning conformity. And woe betide those with the temerity not to genuflect in fealty.

The recent attacks on the Bow Group and its chairman Ben Harris-Quinney and the commentator Tim Montgomerie offer an unpleasant example of a much wider malaise. The two men are not cut from the same ideological cloth, but both offer an approach to conservatism that at times differs from the current Conservative Party house view. This appears to make them fair game for ad hominem attack.

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Nats rolling in cash, far more effective with it than Kim Dotcom

Contrary to the myth the left wing likes to promote, that money buys elections, it really doesn’t.

Kim Dotcom proved that when despite claiming in court he was impoverished he donated millions to the Internet Party which spectacularly bombed.

Meanwhile the national party has been stashing the cash.

Donations to the National Party in 2014 jumped by more than half on the 2011 election year, as the party’s fundraiser outgunned Kim Dotcom’s largesse.

On Tuesday the Electoral Commission revealed the annual party returns, disclosing every donation registered political parties received over $1500, as well as totals for anonymous donations.

The National Party declared donations of $3.98 million, 55 per cent more than the $2.57m it raised in 2011.

Although Dotcom gave by far the largest political donation – $3.5 million – to the Internet Party, his party did not attract other cash from donors.

National raised just over $1 million from donations above $15,000, the level at which identities generally have to be made public. A further $2.75m was raised from donors who gave between $1500 and $15,000, a threshold below which the party can keep identities secret. All up, about 1000 people donated more than $1500 to the National Party.

National president Peter Goodfellow said the party had stayed in close contact with supporters and worked hard to raise cash, as it was going to be a “tough” campaign.

“We have 30,000 members and supporters. We keep good contact with them and they clearly showed that they wanted to support the policies that we were advocating,” he said on Tuesday.

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