Rodney Selection Winners and Losers

Mark Mitchell won the acrimonious selection in Rodney last night, and it was a privilege to have been in the room during the process.


Mark Mitchell: Mark’s reputation is such it would have been an absolute travesty not to have had him selected. Reputation alone is not enough, and delegates in Rodney have told me what a fantastic guy he is, very good with people, and very genuine. It is hard to remember the last time a National candidate met delegates by helping them bail hay and then had a few beers afterwards, but this kind of touch builds loyalty, loyalty that helped Mark win on the first ballot.

Peter Goodfellow: Peter was ultimately responsible for the selection process and deserve credit for taking bold decisions to stop a deeply flawed process. Good work Peter, you have done the right thing.

Losers (0r as Phil Goff would say Not Winners)

Brent Robinson: Brent was outed as a branch stacking, immoral fundamentalist, and his preachy style on selection night really grated. He should never have tried to rig the selection as he probably would have won if he had not tried to rig the process.

Cehill Pienaar: As branch chair this man tried to ensure the fundy take over of the electorate by colluding with Brent over membership and events. His horrible political past has been exposed, and his backing the losing candidate now makes it inevitable he will be told to resign if he does not resign himself.

Karen Rolleston: For someone I keep hearing such good things about she needs to stop making dumb decisions, engage proper professional advise and start listening. She was told by respect senior party people she would lose Palmerston North. She did. She was told she would lose Rodney. She did. She was told she could well win North Shore, and she ignored this, meaning Maggie Barry is now the presumptive candidate in a field of pygmies.

Amateurs: Some boneheads in the Auckland region hierarchy have been putting about that candidates should not pay for advice or pay for strategy. They are as prissy and as puritanical as the old amateur era rugby people and need to stop this silliness. Laughably the main proponents of this argument are people who earn a living by charging for their services themselves.

If you want to be a National candidate there is a very small group of talented, experienced professionals who will greatly enhance your chances of winning. Yes they will cost, but who else won’t you pay – your lawyer, your accountant, your printer, your speech coach, the petrol station for the gas to get to delegate meetings? Professional advice costs money all over town, why not in politics?

What I can’t understand is why paying for someone who gives you the best chance of a long career in politics is wrong or unethical or whatever else the buggers muddle in Auckland seem to think is reason for not engaging professionals. Aspiring candidates should call the tip line if they want introductions to competent political advisors.

Blog readers are well aware of my views on people who behave unethically, and the best way to out them is to publish information. I realise pride is a sin, but I’m feeling just a little bit proud that I have contributed so meaningfully to the selection of a really good candidate and future National MP. I am also proud that National know that they cannot cover up skullduggery in the party. The tipline callers are many and varied and the truth will out.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • watchbird

    If candidates such as the highly competent Karen Rolleston were told by unnamed ‘senior party people’ where to stand and where not to stand on the basis of whether they will win or lose, then what is the point of having voting delegates or a ‘ democratic’ process? Are all potential National candidates told that they have little chance of success unless they hire a ‘professional adviser?” Including Mark Mitchell who told the meeting last night he had been shoulder tapped by the Party President to stand for selection. So far as the also unnamed ‘professional advisers’ are concerned, what are their credentials for having such a major influence on the outcome of selections? To ensure a level playing field for all candidates, the names of such powerful individuals should surely be publicly available with their credentials – and costs – provided. With her successful track record in business Karen Rolleston has obviously not made too many ‘dumb decisions’ but given your distasteful comments she could be forgiven for thinking putting herself forward for selection to represent her local area might be regarded as just that. Let us hope that this obviously talented young woman does not regard your remarks as representative of National and that ‘senior party people’ make sure of it.

    • You misread what I mean.

      When thinking of putting your name in a hat or contest you need to asses all the players that are declared. In doing that you seek advice from competent and connected individuals and weigh that up. If you choose to ignore that advice for what ever reason then yes you are dumb.

      The delegates still are ultimately responsible for selecting candidates, not the president not connected individuals not anyone else, but you must have a proven methodology and a proven plan on how to deal with the complex nature of a selection. Each electorate is different, take Northland for instance. Mark mitchell would not have suited Northland, it has a different dynamic and the methodology there because of the more than 270 delegates required military like planning.

      It makes sense to have a professional advisor, but ultimately you have to be prepared to firstly take advice then to stick to it. I have seen many a top candidate come unstuck because they fall for the politicians disease that they know best.

      It is almost impossible to jack up a selection, Brent Robinson found that out. Mark mitchell didn’t tell the meeting he was shoulder tapped, he told the meeting he sought the presidents advice…that is very different.

      As to the credentials for an advisor…firstly they must charge for their advice and their time, if they are worth it they can prove it with the second part of their credentials, a proven track record in winning.

    • Plus Karen is a good, not great candidate. Her speech was OK not special. She answered the questions well. What Karen did not do is listen to her advisors or to wise counsel.

      Rodney was always going to be a shit fight, she had been scared off from there once. It wasn’t her fight to make. As a candidate and with her credentials she would ahve been a sitter for North Shore despite the celebrity candidate. Maggie is beatable, Jami-lee Ross proved that.

  • thor42

    Best wishes to Mark – sounds like a good candidate!
    Roll on the election, and the deposing of Phil Goof……

  • kevin

    Yes, blogs will make/break candidates this election. Last election blogs were a fad but not now. Serious and meaningful discussions (with the odd expose’) are now par for the course. Bring it on…

  • Pingback: So, who is Simon Lusk? | The Paepae()