Botany Selection Process Winners and Losers

Following on from the lessons post of Friday, this post identifies the winners and losers from Botany.


Jami-Lee Ross: Winner on the night and likely to have a long career as an MP. A very safe pair of hands, and a guy that Len Brown will be pleased not to have on council holding him to account.

Maggie Barry: For a last minute sign up who needed board approval she did well to beat long time National Party activist Aaron Bhatnagar. The media have clearly pointed out that Maggie has huge appeal to the grey power crowd, and she is the antidote to Winston.

Ed Saafi: Ed was knocked out in the first round, but as a highly educated Pacific Islander he has a very good chance of picking up the board selected nomination in Mangere, and winning a list seat if National’s vote holds up.


Aaron Bhatnagar: Aaron is a mate and so hopefully he will take this commentary as it is intended, cold hard facts from the Whale, acting as a mate. By finishing third his reputation has taken a dent. He was graceless in his immediate response to Pansy’s resignation, and the negative campaign run against Jami-Lee and Maggie by his supporters hurt him. He now runs the risk of becoming the Phil Twyford of the National Party but without the Tizard Timebomb to gift him a seat. Needs to get new advisors and break his habit of playing dirty. It didn’t work for Banks, it doesn’t work for Boag and it didn’t work for Bhatnagar. Aaron should now crack on and do what he was going to do all along and challenge Allan Peachey in Tamaki. He would have my full backing in doing so.

Maggie Barry: Impatience damaged her reputation. She could have negotiated a list only position and not suffered a selection loss that harms her reputation. Also needs to get some proper advisors who are not considered loonies by the party membership.

Hamish Price: Aaron Bhatnagar’s offsider. Self styled “regional power broker” who didn’t realise that in politics leaks are everywhere. Ran an exceptionally negative and scurrilous campaign against Jami-Lee Ross while pretending to be his friend. Stupid enough to tell tales to the media and party members without understanding that The Whale has sources everywhere. He is a nasty, offensive and divisive self important fool of a man that should be avoided at all costs by any candidate.

Final Thoughts

Maggie Barry could well fit into caucus but she cannot afford another loss at selection. She needs to get a board appointment, either as a list only candidate or by getting a red seat appointment in a seat like Mt Roskill or Mt Albert where there are not 200 members and the board make the appointment.

The challenge for Maggie is she will have to understand she is a saleswoman, and will have little influence over policy. She wont change the world in the short term, and may have to sell her soul to sell policies she disagrees with, but she could easily position herself as the replacement for Nick Smith, as there is a big gap in the environment portfolio area. One other seat that would suit her would be East Coast Bays. The current MP is long in the tooth, not well liked, and has purposely kept membership under 200 as a deliberate tactic. By mounting a challenge it is at the Board’s discretion and could well see McCully farmed off as Ambassador to Italy to share war stories of his conquests with Silvio Berlusconi. The demographics of the electorate suit an older candidate with gardening credentials.

If Maggie does decide to pursue a career with National she should do what this blog recommends to all candidates. Get proper professional advise from discrete and competent people with a track record of winning. There are a number of people who work behind the scenes and shun publicity, and candidates can call the tip line for their details.

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