Potential Tamaki candidates

Names are now starting to pop up for the rushed Tamaki selection. Names mentioned to the Whale, or mentioned in the media include:

Denise Krum – A more recently established National Party identity, Krum is struggling to make headway with some delegates, who see her as “nice, but not up to it”. Krum is 69 on National’s list, and on current polling stands a good chance of becoming a list Member of Parliament, certainly if there are some mid-term retirements anyway.

Karen Rolleston – An established National party identity, though not a resident of Tamaki, or anywhere near it, Rolleston has some X-Factor that makes her a worthy consideration for delegates. She presents well in person, though narrowly lost in Palmerston North which was not bad for a Jafa.

Alfred Ngaro – Ngaro was catapulted into the National list as one of the fresh new “diversity” faces, and will certainly be in Parliament. He was a good (but not great) candidate in the 2010 council elections, standing as a C&R candidate but losing the winnable Maungakiekie ward contest to Richard Northey. A Cook Islands Maori, Ngaro is educated, affable and presents well. Big things are expected of Ngaro, more than just a token cabinet ministry role.

Suzy Clarkson – ex Prime TV news presenter, and star of fitness videos back in the 1990s. Now reportedly working for Coca Cola as their public affairs director. Her National Party background is unknown. In this morning’s Herald, Cabinet Minister Paula Bennett is reportedly backing her, though this is not necessarily a useful thing.

D. Mark Harrison – A social media entrepeneur and Hobbit helper (he organised the marches for the Hobbit movie last year), Harrison is regularly found in the company of lingerie models and bikini pageant contestants. Fancies himself as a bit of a playboy. He would make Alasdair Thompson seem like a reasonable progressive if chosen. However, he presents well and his Kings College persona can be turned on at whim, making him a possible outside runner. His National Party background is unknown.

Aaron Bhatnagar – a friend of the Whale and established National Party identity. Missed out in Botany and Epsom. Needs more polish and some weight loss if he is to stand in another selection, but capable of being a strong MP if selected. Has been quoted as saying he is undecided about standing, and has already been the victim of an smear by the usual dark forces that congregate around Auckland National Party selections.

UPDATE: Aaron has confirmed with me today that he will NOT be seeking selection in Tamaki.

Mark Thomas – An established National Party identity and former candidate. Has a number of weaknesses that would cause National risk, including the fact he would cause a by-election if selected (he’s currently the spokesman for invisibility on the Orakei local board), comes across as effeminate, and is in a de facto relationship with his partner (Tamaki would be hostile to anything other than married). A public relations practitioner, famously once the paid PR stooge of Mark Hotchin, New Zealand’s second most hated man after Clayton Weatherston. He can’t have been that good allowing his client to be so branded. This also makes him a prime target for Labour, and would be viewed suspiciously by the St Heliers villagers who lost money in Hanover. His missus is said to be far more capable as a potential candidate.

Cameron Brewer – the rock star in the room. Is playing a media tease at the moment about his interest in Tamaki, but is the best known of the likely nominees, has a good National Party pedigree and is a monstrously effective media talent. Brewer would also cause a by-election if selected, which would no doubt have the blessing of Len Brown. Brewer is well advised by his old teammates in the National Party research unit in the Shipley years. May be seen as weak on policy by some delegates, but would probably be forgiven this as he would be incredibly effective in opposition when the Key government eventually does go out. Conceivably the only person in this lineup who could make cabinet prior to the 2014 elections, and if the whispers are correct, would.

David Williams – the ex headmaster of Saint Kentigern College around ten years ago has recently moved back to New Zealand after leading a school in Australia. His National Party background is unknown, though is well connected into the church community. Would probably have the support of the Peachey faction, who would like his strong education credentials and his socially conservative views (he is also a Presbyterian Minister). He would be expected to present very well.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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