Brent Robinson

Skullduggery in the Hunua Selection?

Long time readers will know this blog does not support any candidate for selection in National seats, believing in fair play and ethics in selections at all times.

In 2011 WOBH outed the skullduggery in Rodney where Brent Robinson and Cehill Pienaar tried to jack up a selection by not following the rules or the unwritten selection etiquette of the party.

In 2011 the National Party was forced to abandon their selection in Rodney and start again because the electorate chair was trying to jack up the selection. The electorate chair was forced to resign the day after the selection, and deservedly so as there is no place for dodgy behaviour from impartial office-holders in the National Party.

In 2014 it appears that certain electorate chairs haven’t learned that they need to remain impartial.  Read more »

Brewer, Quax and Stewart already elected

The nominations for local body elections have now closed and three councillors have already been confirmed, essentially elected due to the lack of opposition.

They are Sharon Stewart and Dick Quax in Howick Ward and Cameron Brewer in Orakei. All are top performers in their wards, working tirelessly for the local community, the lack of opposition would seem to confirm this.

Congratulations.

It is perplexing to see the left wing not try to stand against them, or anyone else for that matter. Though given the lack of resources they it is probably smart to concentrate those in areas at the margins, like in Maungakiekie-Tamaki where the tired old warhorse and rifler of desk drawers Richard Northey will face a battle from the much younger and energetic Denise Krum.  Read more »

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.

Advantages:

  • 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

Disadvantages:

  • 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.

Advantages

  • 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

Disadvantages

  • 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.

Advantages

  • None

Disadvantages

  • 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.

Advantages

  • 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.

Disadvantages

  • 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.

Advantages

  • 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

Disadvantages

  • 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.

The under-lying misogyny of National

Sexist ad from the 1950sJohn Key has worked hard to get women to vote for National. He is perhaps the only reason women vote for National. Unfortunately for National and for John Key National does have the deserved reputation of being a bit of an old boys network.

If you take a look at the board of directors of the party you can see this in that there are only 2 women on the board. Of the 58 MPs just 16 are women. The old boys network though works a little lower than that, with their grip fair and square on the Regional Chairs, in particular in Auckland and in the Central North Island.

The old boys network likes to use whisperings and rumours and innuendo to upset their opponents and this was sheeted home in two selections this year. In Rodney electorate during the first and later abandoned round of selections there was, quite apart from the skullduggery of Brent Robinson, a dirty little smear campaign running against one candidate. This smear campaign was outed by me and it nipped it in the bud. However the tactics and modus operandi of those running the smears had all the hallmarks of the old boys network. Strangely these dirty tactics disappeared in Rodney during the second take at selection and the only difference was that Scott Simpson dropped out of the race there and entered the race in Coromandel.

Scott succeeded in the race in Coromandel but again the old boys network came out to play. The same tactics and similar smears were used. Printouts of old news articles were circulated and whispers about it being “time for a man”, “avoiding the Katherine Rich problem” and bizarrely the sexual orientation of one of the candidates father were all used. Talk about young children was constantly referenced. They even resorted to lying about the involvement of paid advisors who were actually nowhere in evidence for any of the candidates in Coromandel. The whispering was being run hard out in order to spike the women candidates. Scott Simpson, in his selection speech, bizarrely mentioned all this gossip and innuendo and then professed innocence of it all by him or his team. Strictly speaking this was true. You see you can’t really have the Regional Chair, Peter Osborne, being overtly in your team when he is supposed to be running a fair and open selection process. Unfortunately the selection was far from that with a serious amount of interference by Peter Osborne in the attempting to manipulate delegates. It was so bad that at one point that he was spoken to by the hierarchy and told to pull his head in.

I raise Peter Osborne’s name because it is relevant to another rather nasty whispering and smear campaign being run right now against a sitting National MP who also happens to be a woman. Multiple sources have confirmed that the source of the smears and whispers is Peter Osborne and he is gunning for this MP so he can arrange for a bloke to take over when she bottles it and quits. The thing is this story has been around for some time and there is very little substance to the whispers but in politics if you have to start explaining your position then you are losing. And this is how the old boys network operates. They start the whispers, the phone calls, the knowing nods. It is very hard to stop because no one can pin down where it is coming from. But as was the case with Rodney, if these tactics are outed and the people involved named then the whispers stop. They no longer have currency.

However it shows an under-lying misogyny in National in particular sectors. The thing is though, none of these big brave men have ever had the gumption to stand for selection themselves. They prefer the smoke-filled rooms, the sneaky whisperings and manipulations and they have a wee chortle to themselves about it all.

When you start joining dots though you start to see the pattern and it wasn’t until I started blogging about the lack of diversity that National faces with its list ranking that the tipline really started humming. I mentioned Scott Simpson and Peter Osborne, but with Alasdair Thompson making a fool of himself with his sexist and misogynistic utterings another dot was joined. You see Alasdair Thompson was one of the team that Scott Simpson recruited to endorse him in him in his brochure. Another dot fell into place too. The leader of the most sexist and anti-women party in parliament, Don Brash, also lobbied on behalf of Scott Simpson in Coromandel. When you join those dots with the anti-women murmurings of Peter Osborne then you get to see that there really is an underlying misogyny lurking beneath the surface in National.

All of this is of course highly ironic when you consider that National is sending out a brochure to all its members right now celebrating Women in the Party. It even has a slogan, “Service before Self”. Worse the brochure leaves off National’s longest serving woman MP, Georgina Te Heu Heu and doesn’t mention her service at all. She epitomises “Service before Self”. She was the first Maori woman to gain a law degree admitted to the High Court in New Zealand and the longest standing woman mp in national, and was the Women’s Affairs Minister 1998-1999, and now current minister. They can’t say it is because she is leaving because they include 3 former MPs.

The time os the old boys network is over. They should pack their bags and bugger off, their type of politics has no place in New Zealand anymore.

Rodney Selection Winners and Losers

Mark Mitchell won the acrimonious selection in Rodney last night, and it was a privilege to have been in the room during the process.

Winners

Mark Mitchell: Mark’s reputation is such it would have been an absolute travesty not to have had him selected. Reputation alone is not enough, and delegates in Rodney have told me what a fantastic guy he is, very good with people, and very genuine. It is hard to remember the last time a National candidate met delegates by helping them bail hay and then had a few beers afterwards, but this kind of touch builds loyalty, loyalty that helped Mark win on the first ballot.

Peter Goodfellow: Peter was ultimately responsible for the selection process and deserve credit for taking bold decisions to stop a deeply flawed process. Good work Peter, you have done the right thing.

Losers (0r as Phil Goff would say Not Winners)

Brent Robinson: Brent was outed as a branch stacking, immoral fundamentalist, and his preachy style on selection night really grated. He should never have tried to rig the selection as he probably would have won if he had not tried to rig the process.

Cehill Pienaar: As branch chair this man tried to ensure the fundy take over of the electorate by colluding with Brent over membership and events. His horrible political past has been exposed, and his backing the losing candidate now makes it inevitable he will be told to resign if he does not resign himself.

Karen Rolleston: For someone I keep hearing such good things about she needs to stop making dumb decisions, engage proper professional advise and start listening. She was told by respect senior party people she would lose Palmerston North. She did. She was told she would lose Rodney. She did. She was told she could well win North Shore, and she ignored this, meaning Maggie Barry is now the presumptive candidate in a field of pygmies.

Amateurs: Some boneheads in the Auckland region hierarchy have been putting about that candidates should not pay for advice or pay for strategy. They are as prissy and as puritanical as the old amateur era rugby people and need to stop this silliness. Laughably the main proponents of this argument are people who earn a living by charging for their services themselves.

If you want to be a National candidate there is a very small group of talented, experienced professionals who will greatly enhance your chances of winning. Yes they will cost, but who else won’t you pay – your lawyer, your accountant, your printer, your speech coach, the petrol station for the gas to get to delegate meetings? Professional advice costs money all over town, why not in politics?

What I can’t understand is why paying for someone who gives you the best chance of a long career in politics is wrong or unethical or whatever else the buggers muddle in Auckland seem to think is reason for not engaging professionals. Aspiring candidates should call the tip line if they want introductions to competent political advisors.

Blog readers are well aware of my views on people who behave unethically, and the best way to out them is to publish information. I realise pride is a sin, but I’m feeling just a little bit proud that I have contributed so meaningfully to the selection of a really good candidate and future National MP. I am also proud that National know that they cannot cover up skullduggery in the party. The tipline callers are many and varied and the truth will out.

Rodney Skulduggery Update

I have refrained from commenting on the Rodney selection in the last few weeks as the tipline has been quiet. The simple explanation for this is that the revised process has been a lot fairer than the process was before it was suspended, and this is a credit to Party President Peter Goodfellow who had the guts to stop an hopelessly flawed process.

Selection for Rodney is tonight, and so I want to run a quick recap on why the process was suspended and started again.

  1. Brent Robinson tried to win the process through unscrupulous means.
  2. He stacked his branch with members from his fundamentalist church, increasing his branch membership by around 600%. This completely blindsided the sitting MP and the other three branches, and forced an audit of membership.
  3. Brent then tried to intimidate candidates out of the race. One requested a meeting with the electorate chair and was ambushed by Cehill Pienaar, Brent Robinson and ten others and basically told Brent had the nomination won. Many quality candidates were likewise ambushed and scared off.
  4. At a meeting of delegates for nominees, Brent colluded with the electorate chair to stitch up his opponents by suggesting a speech to those in the room. He was prepared for this, and his opponents were not. New Zealand’s favourite grandmother, Maggie Barry, was intimidated out of the race by this and is now seeking the nomination in North Shore.

The wise words of Solomon provide some insights for the good delegates of Rodney:

Proverbs 28:2 When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.

As of late I have gained a great deal of understanding from Solomon’s wise words in the book of proverbs. There are many great verses that budding politicans would do well to read and understand the wisdom of Solomon. The behaviour exhibited in Rodney amongst some and in particular Brent Robinson was not the makings for a long term National MP. It smacks of hypocrisy, and as a Christian I find Brent’s behaviour absolutely appalling. Again Solomon provides appropriate words:

Proverbs 28:10 Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things.

Delegates should choose their new MP carefully, and choose him or her from the other four candidates all who have not tried to rig selection. I wish Karen Rolleston, John Kirikiri, Chris Penk and Mark Mitchell well tonight.

Rodney Skulduggery Update

The National Party has released the names of the five candidates who have made it through preselection.

The five are (in alphabetical order):

John Kirikiri
Mark Mitchell
Chris Penk
Brent Robinson
Karen Rolleston

Long time friend of Whaleoil, Scott Simpson, has decided to leave the race where he was considered the front-runner, abandoning his supporters to run in Coromandel. As this post hits the internet he will be speaking in Te Aroha trying to convince the good folk of Coromandel that he really loved them all along.

As followers of this blog know there is a clear policy, no candidate  for selection is endorsed, and delegates are expected to be wise enough to chose the right person for their electorate without any outside interference.

What this blog does is hold people to account for unethical behaviour, and for this reason Brent Robinson is clearly not fit to be an MP. His shabby dealings on three occasions caused this selection to be abandoned, and he must be the most shameless man in the country to have continued to pursue the nomination.

To recap:

  1. Brent Robinson signed up about 200 members to his branch, mainly from his fundamentalist church at $5 per head. This was a total shock to the electorate when it came up at the AGM.  The aim was to stack the selection to get Brent the seat, with Brent’s selection being the bridgehead for a fundamentalist faction to form in the National Party caucus.
  2. A prospective candidate asked to meet the chair of the electorate to discuss running, and was ambushed by Brent, the electorate chair and about 10 others. They made an unethical play to clear the field for Brent Robinson.
  3. The Electorate arranged a nomination signing session with delegates. When the candidates arrived Brent ambushed them with an unscheduled speech, which for Brent was prepared but for the others was impromptu. One of the prospective candidates at that time was Maggie Barry, who was doing due diligence on a number of seats and withdrew because of Brent’s behaviour.

These are real examples of why Brent Robinson is not fit to be an MP, not even for New Zealand First, let alone a proper party with sound ethical foundations like National. If you have to cheat to win a selection then frankly you don’t deserve to be a MP.

Delegates should consider carefully each of the other four candidates. They all come with good reputations and do not deserve to be beaten in a rigged selection race.

For a full recap of the Rodney Selection Skulduggery go to these links via the Rodney tag

National Party Selections Roundup

Rimutaka

Congratulations to Jonathan Fletcher who won the selection for Rimutaka, and commiserations to Alastair Scott who has a very good reputation but needs to retain campaign professionals if he is to win a nomination. A number of delegates have told the tip line that Jonathan won because he worked the room very well and spoke better than Alastair.

Coromandel

Nominations have closed. Megan Campbell, a former parliamentary staffer and active party office holder in the CNI Region, appears to have the inside running against local girl made good Heather Tanner. Megan has spent some considerable time in the electorate working hard with the locals doing the basics of gaining a nomination well. A detailed post on this race will follow soon. The one uncomfortable fact facing both ladies is there is a high profile party figure rumoured to be in the race. There are a couple of other names in the race but they aren’t likely to set the delegates interest alight.

Northland

A tighter than expected race, with long serving National Party salwart and current board member Grant McCullum not dominating as expected. Word from Northland, where there will be a massive number of delegates (1 delegate per 15 members) is that Grant is getting out worked by several other candidates including Mike Sabin and Mark Tan, with others also coming across as more personable and less entitled to the seat vacated by John Carter, one of the most
loved local MPs in New Zealand history.

North Shore

Maggie Barry is NZ's favourite grandmaThe party is frantically casting about for high quality candidates with Paul Goldsmith, Ewen McQueen, Maggie Barry and Matt Kemp putting their names forward for a safe blue seat. Word is that none are finding much favour with the party at large. Matt is apparently a tax manager at Fonterra meaning he might be useful at working out how to close loopholes for rural tax dodgers, and he could be a good bet as a long term MP that will last until National is next in government. Unfortunately for Kemp he has annoyed a large faction that supported Steven Joyce ascending the North Shore throne. Ewen McQueen is the former (and last) leader of Christian Heritage, a position he took up after Graham Capill went to jail for fiddling with kids. Paul Goldsmith has all the personal charisma of a parking meter and the charm of a parking warden.

Unfortunately it is hard to imagine Maggie making it through without proper advisors, and while she has a lot to offer, her status as New Zealand’s favourite grandmother means she is unlikely to last until the next National government, meaning a career on the back benches or in opposition.

Failed Palmerston North candidate Karen Rolleston, who is an impressive speaker, well presented and works a room well may be running which would provide another option, and she has the advantage of having run a business in the electorate. Unfortunately her unwise run in Palmerston North means her reputation for making good strategic decisions has been compromised.

Other names may come forward as this is a very safe blue seat but an outsider without a strong campaign team will likely miss out as locals select one of their own.

Wellington Central

Royalist, diplomat and protocol expert and man who has a passing resemblance to Bomber Bradbury, Paul Foster-Bell, is the only name currently in the hat for Wellington Central though there is some talk that Alastair Scott might run. Either way, this blog picks future Labour Leader Grant Robertson will buck the projected swing to National and improve his majority as only good things are said about him.

Rodney

The tipline has been quiet for a few weeks after Peter Goodfellow took the sensible and principled decision to suspend the process and start it again with new delegates so there can be no suggestion of rigging. Murmurings of more skullduggery, malicious rumours and general partisan nastiness have come through in recent days as the process hots up again. iPredict should run stocks on whether or not a defamation case results out of this race such is the vile-ness of the rumours.

Brent Robinson has some strong backing on iPredict though this has tailed off in the last day or so This support has been taken from former regional chair and long time Whaleoil friend Scott Simpson, but there does not appear to be any strong logic behind it. Frankly I can’t believe the cheek of Brent Robinson even staying in the race. This blog still maintains a “anyone but Brent” stance. That stance may change if anymore skullduggery is detected in Rodney.

Epsom

The race to take a dive to keep Rodney Hide and ACT in the house has not really generated any interest yet although being Auckland and full of self-interested factional party warriors it is likely there is some skullduggery going to come through at some stage. Disappointingly there are no elderly matrons with blue rinses left in Epsom, but even so there are enough members with access to blogs and email to ensure anyone trying anything silly in Epsom is likely to get outed quicker than those in Rodney.

Word is that even if voters are told to hold their nose and vote for Rodney Hide they are likely to ignore it, so there is a reasonable chance that whoever wins the nomination for one of the bluest seats in the country will end up MP for life or until they get caught with their pants down like the former National MP from the area.

There are rumours around that Tim Groser will be foisted upon the electorate, something he neither wants, nor the locals want. Having Epsom erupt in anger after the Rodney electorate selection debacle wouldn’t be helpful PR-wise for the party.

This could get messy unless the party shows some careful management of the process, something that sadly is severely lacking across the Northern Region which has become something of a buggers muddle in recent years.

Rodney iPredict update

The Rodney selection has been cancelled and is going to be re-opened near the end of the month. All indications are that the former 5 candidates will throw their hat in the ring again, though one must wonder at the absolute cheek of Brent Robinson having another go after being caught out rorting the system in such a blatant fashion. Still there is no accounting for some people’s stupidity nor their unbridled passion for the pursuit of power.

The latest iPredict stocks still show that the market is in line with Scott Simpson’s own opinion of the placings. This is a favoured approach of Scott’s, having run the same lines in Tamaki, against Judy Kirk, and against Peter Goodfellow. Still the market can’t be argued with and clearly the smart money agrees with Scott Simpson.

In alphabetical order (can’t be accused of having favourites)

John Kirikiri: Last Trade Price $0.0234

Mark Mitchell: Last Trade Price $0.0449

Christopher Penk: Last Trade Price $0.0200

Brent Robinson: Last Trade Price $0.1264

Scott Simpson: Last Trade Price $0.7178


When two dogs fight

The Rodney selection debacle has finally made the papers. Adam Bennett has been following this from afar and has put the pieces of the puzzle together. Apart from the old “Ned Flanders” photo of Peter Goodfellow the article is very accurate, at least until they quote from Alan Towers.

The selection of National’s candidate for the safe Rodney seat has been delayed amid bitter infighting, with frontrunners Brent Robinson and Scott Simpson said to be tarnished by claims of attempts to slant the selection process in their favour.

Delegates were to have met this week to select the candidate to replace Lockwood Smith from a shortlist of five – Mark Mitchell, John Kirikiri, Christopher Penk, Mr Robinson and Mr Simpson.

If the electorate chair Cehill Pienaar and Regional Chair Alan Towers hadn’t both tried to jack up the delegates then the buggers’ muddle that exists now wouldn’t have occurred.

Once again I have been proven to be right with my allegations.

It is also understood a number of those signed up recently to Wainui should, according to party rules, have been registered to other branches because of where they live.

National’s hierarchy has decided to formalise branch boundaries within the electorate, a move that is likely to see members reallocated from Wainui to other branches.

That is the branch stacking sorted but what about the Regional delegate stacking?

With both frontrunners now perceived to have indulged in “dirty pool”, the party insider said the way was now clear for one of the other candidates to come through.

Strong potential contenders include Mr Mitchell, a former policeman, and Mr Kirikiri, the district’s former deputy mayor whose key strength is said to be his strong relationships within an electorate that is regarded as very parochial.

Another party stalwart also said the competition was now far more open.

“People want this to be a fair contest and they don’t want to see a few people abusing the rules, so I think there’s an element to that.”

Dirty pool indeed! More like Murky pool. The most hilarious quote is one from Alan Towers:

Mr Goodfellow said he understood Mr Towers was reconsidering how he would appoint delegates to the selection committee.

This was because of “the criticism he’s facing that the way in which he’s exercised his discretion hasn’t generally been what you’d expect”.

This week, however, Mr Towers dismissed the allegations about his selections as “ridiculous”.

The only changes he was making in terms of appointing the 15 delegates needed to make up the quorum of 60 for the selection panel would be to reflect changes to the pool of potential delegates resulting from the reallocation of party members among the electorate’s four branches.

I hesitate to call people liars…except when they lie. I knew Alan Towers would do and say that, I have been waiting patiently for the lie to come out. Does he really want me to publish the list of delegates he appointed, the electorates they are from and the relationship to Scott Simpson? Because I will if he keeps lying. As a taster perhaps the media would like to ask him about Roger B. of Hunua/Botany electorate , or perhaps Jim S. of Mt Roskill electorate, or maybe Roy M. from Auckland Central and then there is the dear old thing from up north who has described Scott Simpson as “like a son to her“. Alan Towers knows I know he isn’t speaking the truth, but does he want everyone else to know.

What Alan Towers could do, though, is the honest thing and change the regional delegates copying either the model Malcolm Plimmer used in Palmerston North, with five long standing members from each of the three surrounding electorates, or by putting ranking party members in as delegates.

The fifteen people this blog would like to see as delegates are:

The four Deputy Regional Chairs
The six members of the list ranking committee
The electorate chairs from Whangarei, East Coast Bays, North Shore & Northcote
PLus any shortfall made up of deputy electorate chairs.

These people all hold positions within the party they have been elected to, and they were not elected because they were Scott Simpson loyalists. So the stench of corruption would be removed from the selection process if the regional delegates are changed in the same way as the rigged local delegates are going to be removed.

This whole messy buggers’ muddle of a process has been a shambles, and it is fair to say that Alan Towers chances of ever getting on the board are now non-existent.