The Tamaki Debacle, Ctd

The race for the National aprty nomination for Tamaki is between these five:

I have been forwarded a summary of candidate biographies by the electorate chair, Andrew Hunt, who is making a good fist of the selection. HE is approachable and seems to be be running everything precisely by the rules. He has sent me the summary because candidates aren;t allowed to talk to media.

Candidate Bios

My summary will follow the same format as previous selections. Links on their names are to their iPredict stock.

Denise Krum:

Selection Record: Maungakiekie 2008 (Successfully won selection for United Future), Botany 2011 (Did not make it through Preselection),  Epsom 2011 (Dropped at 2nd ballot)

Denise is a pleasant journey woman who is unlikely to make mistakes as an MP, but also unlikely to make an impact. Her solid and stable family background and Christian values platform may endear her to some locals. A female MP for Tamaki would be a first, and probably not a bad thing either. If Krum can present more like a corporate and less like a suburban housewife, she would have the potential to win the selection.


  • strong track record of community involvement including getting seriously off side with Greenpeace after cleaning up the Ellerslie town centre and having them poster it with anti corporate messages.
  • Political background including father Graeme Lee being a former National MP.
  • Would help the gender balance in the National caucus


  • Political background including father Graeme Lee being a former National MP.
  • Ran for United Future in 2008
  • Was United Future Party President
  • A very attractive woman who’s causal dress sense and hippy style hair does not do her justice
  • Needs serious speech training to stop her coming across as a stoner.
  • No proven track record as a vote winner
  • Has not won a selection so far and Tamaki may not want a woman who is a repeat loser

Toni Millar:

Selection Record: To this blogs knowledge has not stood for National Selection previously

A former local councillor with a reputation for abrasiveness and bossiness. Her strong local connections 9she has lived in the electorate for decades) would make her an excellent candidate for right now, but her “spoilt child” reputation proceeds her, and will turn off some delegates. Local community groups would adore Millar as the local candidate, as she is a very social person. Not one to make a contribution to policy – think of her as a Sandra Goudie without gumboots. No longer married, but also no children, which means she would have the time to apply to the role of ribbon cutter. Would be an effective local MP and loyal to the party. Her weight might be held against her by some delegates.


  • Proven electability as a C&R councilor on the old Auckland City Council
  • Experienced political operator who would have a head start on newbies in parliament
  • Great links into a wide range of community groups
  • Very good with voter contact and very good manner with voters
  • Known to enjoy doing the hard yards in her electorate, and enjoy the contact with constituents
  • Would help the gender balance in caucus
  • Would not mind taking on hostile audiences of morons like teachers unions as she is known to have a hide like a rhinoceros


  • An assertive woman in a world where assertiveness in women can unfairly be used to call a woman a “school marm”, “bossy” or “a bitch”
  • Former Teacher
  • Would not add to the intellectual and policy heft of the party
  • Perhaps not the best long term prospect

Simon O’Connor:

Selection Record: Stood unsuccessfully for selection in Maungakiekie in 2008.

Seen as a nice fellow, a hard working volunteer for the party over the years, but not considered a rising star. O’Connor used to be a priest in training, but mysteriously left the seminary with his studies uncompleted. However, his Catholic connections will probably be popular in Tamaki. He is unmarried, so may be seen as less than settled as a choice for a conservative seat like that. Has not been a seat candidate for National before, was unsuccessful as a local board candidate for the Waitemata ward in 2010. He is a Contracts Manager for Southern Cross Health Society

The selection in Maungakiekie in 2008 was marked by extreme unethical behaviour, with O’Connor and the electorate chair trying to stack selection in O’Connor’s favour against Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga. O’Connor then went on the offensive to attack Sam on the grounds he was a councillor and could not campaign properly due to his council responsibilities. Like Brent Robinson in Rodney, O’Connor lost.

What is it with fundies and unethical selection campaigns? Maybe we need to get candidates to swear on the bible they will not be unethical during selection.


  • None


  • Unethical selection campaign in 2008 means he will never receive a positive comments from this blog.

Seby Reeves:

Selection Record: None

I have never heard of him, but who is reputedly an early 30-something lawyer, is unlikely to have upset anyone, and so could become everyone’s second choice because he hasn’t done enough to cause people to vote against him. It is unconfirmed if he has a strong party connection. He is the son of Graeme Reeves.


  • No previous negative form in National, meaning if he presents well, works the delegate list hard and delivers the best speech on the night he has a chance.
  • People will not have formed an opinion of him, so he has a chance to convince them to vote for him in a weak field.


  • Unknown in National
  • Looks like an opportunist.

Mark Thomas:

Selection Record: Successful Wellington Central 1996. (Bolger shafted him so Prebble could win the seat).

Current Orakei Board member, with a reputation for talking but not walking. Thomas has a number of negatives causing political risk to National. His work as PR stooge for Mark Hotchin would be poison to locals and a bright shiny bullseye for Labour. Thomas is unmarried with children, which won’t be popular with locals either. His becoming an MP would also trigger an expensive by-election for Auckland ratepayers, or potentially cause another round of double-dipping accusations like Sam Lotu-iiga went through. Famously knifed by Bolger in Wellington Central in 1996. Comes across as a bit effeminate.


  • Of the known candidates Mark is the most talented and has done more good for the National Party
  • Sound strategic and political mind, and a good backroom operator
  • Will present well and speak well, with a very clear, logical message


  • Too close to party president Peter Goodfellow, who has no support in Tamaki
  • Good talker, not such a good walker
  • PR man for Mark Hotchin, which will be used against him
  • To intellectual to be really liked by middle New Zealand and not great at pressing the flesh
  • Not a retail politician
  • Unfairly blamed for Melissa Lees campaign debacle, rather than being credited for the highly successful campaign for Sam Lotu-Iiga in Maungakiekie in 2008

A note for readers: The tip line has been running hot with all sorts of stories about marriage, sexuality and other personal details. I do not believe these points deserve public airing, and I also do not believe they will be factors in selection. In 1976 Marilyn Waring was outed by the Truth, but remained in parliament until 1984, with the provincial New Zealand seats of Raglan and Waipa accepting her for who she was rather than being all preachy and judgmental.

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