Was this wise?

I don’t know what the board of the National party were thinking in authorising this little purchase.

Today Fairfax Media revealed that the National Party had paid more than $2 million for a 41 Pipitea St, mansion in Thorndon which was previously home to a string of prime ministers. The house will become the party’s headquarters.

Party president Peter Goodfellow said the red-brick house was “perfect” for the party.

“It’s very appropriate. It’s got historic places designation on it . . . and it’ll be the perfect home for the party for the next 78 years,” Goodfellow said.

The sale price was $2,156,000, some $256,000 more than the property’s rateable value.

It was the former residence of Sir Sidney Holland, National’s first prime minister, and Sir Keith Holyoake, the party’s longest-serving prime minister and New Zealand’s third longest.

It has also been home to Labour prime ministers Sir Walter Nash and Sir Geoffrey Palmer. More recently it was lived in by Cabinet ministers, including Nick Smith. 

I wouldn’t have thought this was particularly wise. It has allowed a silly distraction with Winston peters attacking the party and the government

I don’t know whether the money would have been better invested elsewhere other than in bricks and mortar, but either the party has literally millions more sitting int he bank or this was a monumental waste of coin that would ahve been best spent campaigning.

Like alot of things in the National Party, it will likely have been funded by generous donors who don’t expect anything back, and I would seriously doubt it will have come out of the subscriptions of ordinary members.

On a personal level it looks and seems a smart thing to do. However, on a security for staff, and best return for political dollar investment in an online world I could think of a whole more effective things to do with that amount of cash.

They might have even spared some cash for the White Ribbon campaign.


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  • Mr Sackunkrak

    Agreed. But at least we can take comfort that National didn’t feel the need to nick the money from the taxpayer.

  • peterwn

    National owns a floor in Willbank House which used to be its HQ – presumably it will be sold – worth about $1M. Not sure why HQ moved to Thorndon – perhaps they could get more rent for Willbank than they pay at Thorndon.

    Winston is grizzling for the sake of it. It was thoroughly marketed for sale by tender including open homes (I wandered through it myself – just rubbernecking). Internal Affairs did not know the identity of the ultimate buyer – it would have accepted the highest tender (which was above valuation). However perhaps Winston is worried about the odd skeleton in the cupboard that he may have left behind when he lived there, or an old pile of comics left behind by Matt Rata (a property developer years ago erected a hoarding ‘Matt Rata Reads Comics”, a bit in the style of the one attacking Simon Bridges).

    If the overall economics are not that different from leasing reasonable office space, then no real problem.

    • Sure but Willbank House was providing an income from the lease, which more than offset the costs of the Thorndon office. Now they will lose the income and have the costs associated with running the office…and don;t get me started on now having an easily accessible premise as a focus for rowdies to protest outside of.

      When at Willbank house they could easily shut off the lift and protect the stairwells…which they had to do often in the 1990s…not so a ground level house with walk up access.

      • cows4me

        Could they turn it into a high class knock shop or casino, isn’t JK good at casinos? Bring the loot in

        • peterwn

          Sky City tried a PR putch a few years ago to try and get into Wellington, but it failed miserably. The cutest little capital city in the world is doing just fine without a casino.

      • peterwn

        So what you are saying is that National party HQ risks protest action on the outside, but meanwhile down at Fraser House Labour’s problem is low lying ‘protestors’ on the inside leaking like mad.

  • Col

    Winston may have some Playboy mags hidden somewhere?

    • Mr_Blobby

      Probably more worried about his DNA splattered around the walls.

  • On the plus side National has shown that they have plenty of hooter that they can buy a building…and campaign…the opposition meanwhile are broke.

    • Shoreboy57

      Not so the opposition members..plenty of spare houses

      • Honcho

        And millions in US dollars! sheeps been pretty silent about the damage Fonterra has done to the kiwi dollar, vested interest perhaps?