Is Newsroom promoting John Prendergast for Clutha-Southland?

John Predergast

In a somewhat bizarre article Newsroom are talking about a man who suddenly resigned from a position a month a go as if he is a serious contender for Clutha Southland.

Nominations for the party’s Clutha-Southland candidacy have closed. They include John Prendergast, former CEO of the Community Trust of Southland (CTOS).

Prendergast mysteriously quit a month ago after 20 years in the job, saying only that the trustees had resolved unanimously that they wanted him to resign.

The Chair of CTOS is Margo Hishon who also happens to be the Electorate chair of National?s Clutha-Southland branch.

She replaced Stuart Davie, who resigned in February 2016 after Barclay lied to him over recording electorate staffer Glenys Dickson.

Hishon will sit on the pre-selection panel which will decide if Prendergast makes it through to the final five.

If Newsroom had cared to check the National Party constitution they would know that to nominate a person needs to be a member of National for at least a year or get board dispensation.

Word from National HQ is this is unlikely as Bill English spent years trying to get people on the community trust board to remove a man ideally suited to being a Labour candidate. There are few in Labour who have had such a long career giving away other people’s money without earning it first as John Prendergast.

Just before Prendergast?s resignation was confirmed, nine former trustees, including three former chairs and two former deputy chairs, called on associate finance minister Amy Adams to investigate the CTOS.

In a letter to Adams dated May 29, the group said:

?The Trust, a community funder, had been fortunate to have the exemplary and highly regarded Prendergast as chief executive since 1997.

People who Newsroom obviously failed to talk to say that this has apparently pissed off National no end because the people sending the letter were mostly Labour people appointed before Bill English started cleaning them out.

On July 6, Adams was questioned in the house by Labour?s finance spokesman Grant Robertson. She was asked if she didn?t want to investigate the CTOS because ?those who drove the chief executive out? had close links to the National Party and that CTOS chair Hishon was also chair of the Clutha-Southland branch.

?I completely refute that? Adams replied.

So, John Prendergast?s mates had the Labour Finance spokesman Grant Robertson intervene on his behalf.

Newsroom would do better than to take dictation from disgruntled losers like the ‘Evil Six’.