There is skullduggery going on in Clutha-Southland with a shabby move against Todd Barclay which is being orchestrated quietly by the former MP, currently residing in Karori, and assisted by at least one stroppy board member intent on taking the presidency.
Richard Harman has the first signs of the skirmish:
[S]peaking yesterday to POLITIK, Barclay said he welcomed the challenge.
“The party has got a democratic process, and that’s one of the strengths of the party; anybody can put themselves up to stand in any electorate at any time,” he said.
“I think my team and I have done a great job over the past three years of working really hard to try and build up the seat to where it is now.”
Barclay implies that the electorate was slightly rundown when he took it over from English.
“Having a senior MP as the local MP for a long period of time has meant that he has obviously had other responsibilities whereas now I live here, I’m based here, and I’m doing a lot of hard work to try and build up what we’ve got in terms of the party infrastructure.”
The tipline has been running hot about the potential challenge in Clutha-Southland.
This is a challenge being orchestrated by National Party Board Member Glenda Hughes, who is trying to muscle into the democratic processes of electorates selecting their own candidate, to force out Todd Barclay, the current MP. Hughes wants to appoint her chosen outside candidate, imposing her will on the Clutha-Southland electorate.
This is an absolute disgrace.
The National Party board should not be involved in selections in any partisan way. They should not be involved at all, except to undertake their constitutional duties and ensure local electorates select the person they think best suits their electorate. Board Members with integrity will not be involved the kind of tearing down of MPs that Glenda has been doing. I remind them of Peter Goodfellow’s own words after Richard Harman spoke to him:
In a statement issued to POLITIK, Party President, Peter Goodfellow said National was proud of its local, democratic selection process.
“Selections are an internal matter for each electorate that every MP or aspiring MP must go through before every election, no matter their seniority or length of service
“There’s a well-established selection process to be run in Clutha-Southland, and this will be completed over the next month, along with a number of other electorates.”
If Glenda Hughes wants to play political games in National Party selections she should do the honourable thing and immediately resign her board position. If she continues to interfere we will be forced to continue to draw readers attention to Hughes’ hamfisted attempts in other electorates selections, not just Clutha-Southland.
The last time the board tried meddling in a local selection it turned into a PR disaster for them. Do they really want that again?