David Kirk

Can a Carpetbagger Win Selection in a Safe Blue Seat?


Selection season is coming around and as usual the National Party has tits for hands and has really dropped the ball. Instead of having selections all lined up in the year before the election someone suddenly remembers they need to run a selection late in the year before the election, so selections in the late summer and autumn, rather than in the previous spring.

This selection season there are two very safe blue seats coming up. Hunua and Clutha-Southland offer a job for life so they will attract carpetbaggers like flies to shit. The problem for carpet-baggers is that these two electorates are high membership electorates and the local delegates will decide the selection, rather than having HQ impose their choice on the electorate.  Read more »

Can a Carpet Bagger Win Selection Safe Blue Seat?

The National Party has some safe blue seats coming up for selection in 2014. Hunua and Clutha-Southland are the two safest blue seats in the country, and the candidate selected in these seats will have a long career in parliament without ever having to worry about their majority.

This means carpet baggers looking for a easy seat that takes them straight to Wellington without having to campaign seriously will be buzzing around Hunua and Clutha-Southland like flies around shit. I don’t object to this, opportunists can win, and because National has been so useless at succession planning they do not have a stable of good candidates ready to run in safe blue seats like Waikato, Taranaki-King Country or Clutha Southland.

Carpet baggers can win selections in safe blue seats even if they have little connection to the seat. John Key won Helensville despite not having any real connection to the electorate. Though to be fair that was a head office stitch up of monumental proportions. Maggie Barry won in North Shore when there was no good local. My oldest friend in caucus Scott Simpson won Coromandel despite having no real connection to the electorate other than a bach. The common factor in these seats was the low party membership, meaning the Party HQ could stitch up selection for a chosen candidate.  Read more »

National Selection Round Up

This blog will be covering all the National Party selections over the next six months. As usual it will not take sides in any selection process unless some stupid fundy tries to break all the rules and rig selection, or if some factional war lords wearing drag try to impose a candidate on an electorate.

Unlike Labour, National’s selection process is decided by the electorates, not HQ, and the Board or Caucus have bugger all to do with it.

Whangarei: – The very urbane and cosmopolitan Paul Foster-Bell, a Whangarei boy, wants to return home. Paul needs to spend a few early mornings out catching his limit of snapper, accept the abuse of that ratbag Nathan Guy for cutting our snapper limit, and remember the golden rule about MPs not having gay utes like Fossy’s and he is in with a chance. Mike Sabin has talked of switching seats but probably wont. National board member Grant McCullum is unlikely to run because of his difficult missus.

New Westie Seat: – Linda Cooper may be the one to take one for the team in the new westie seat, but she may show a degree of wisdom no one had previously noticed, and decide to stay on council.

Te Atatu: – Self confessed Westie Mark Bridges seems like a good pick for this seat even if he wants to parachute into Hunua, which he has absolutely no connection to, but fair play to him, if he can smooze all the old dears in Hunua enough to beat a formidable local he deserves it.   Read more »

Hunua selection looks interesting

Paul Hutchinson’s retirement leaves a gap in a very blue seat that many aspiring National politicians will be looking closely at.

Rumours in the electorate are that the ninth floor want to parachute in a “star” but they have been told this won’t be happening as the locals are jealously protective of their right to choose their own candidate rather than have one imposed on them in Wellington. David Kirk’s name comes up repeatedly.

The problem for the ninth floor is that Hunua recently overtook Northland as the largest membership seat in the country, and with over 1300 members there will be no regionally appointed delegates so no ability for the regional hierarchy to stack a selection for an outsider.   Read more »

Farrar on Labour Selection

David Farrar goes back to the days when Helen Clark controlled the Labour Party. She controlled it with an iron fist, partly because she was so much more competent than her caucus colleagues.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the parliamentary party and the party organization were divided, the Labour Party leader had very little influence over candidate selection. In fact, some interviewees reported that in 1993, the party president and her allies deliberately influenced candidate selection to move the ideological orientation of caucus to the left and to replace the incumbent leader (which is how Clark came to the leadership in 1993). However, under Helen Clark’s leadership, during which time the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary wings were far more united, many interviewees reported that she did influence many electorate selections

Clark was firmly in control. Now, no one is.

Then Farrar pointed out the truth about the National Party.

By the way this can not happen in National. The head office gets zero say at all on selection meetings. Their role is just the traditional veto early on of totally unsuitable candidates.

As a National candidate you can tell the party to stick it and there is nothing they can do. National candidates are selected by mainly local delegates and long term party members who will pick the person they want, not who the leader or the party want. The classic example is David Kirk not being able to beat Clem Simich in Tamaki.

If National cant rig a selection for a world cup winning All Black captain who received a Rhodes scholarship they can’t rig a selection.

National Selection FAQ, Ctd

Does the Party have any real influence over who the delegates select?

No. The party is just a loose collection of individuals, and delegates in electorates often do not know the party hierarchy. They will be swayed by who you are, not what people say about you or who you are allegedly aligned to.

In the past being the “HQ” candidate was usually the kiss of death, as delegates resent being told who they should vote for. Even in the event of a candidate being a world beater like David Kirk, the locals chose their man, not HQ’s man.

Where the party does have some influence is if they are appointing delegates in electorates with low membership. The Regional Chair appoints top up delegates to get to 60 in the event there are not enough members for the electorate chair to appoint all sixty delegates.

In 2002 Judith Collins and John Key were the beneficiaries of some sterling, if unethical, work by former president Michelle Boag, who helped appoint top up delegates who were going to vote for the challenger not the incumbent.

This could occur again, but aspiring candidates should note that there was a mood for change in 2002, Key and Collins were obvious stars and the sitting MPs were well past their used by dates.

Weldon for Tamaki?

Mark “Speedo” Weldon may be about to nominate for Tamaki. There have long been rumours of Weldon’s interest in being in a John Key led cabinet.

Mark Weldon is stepping down as chief executive of NZX Ltd, the operator of the New Zealand stock exchange.

NZX has just announced that Weldon told the board he will step down as chief executive in the first half of next year, after nearly ten years in the job.

God knows Tamaki needs a quality candidate and they haven’t had a cabinet minister since Muldoon and parochial interests scotched the last quality candidate in the form of David Kirk.

Interesting times.