Grant McCullum

The Upcoming National Party Board Election

The National Party Board has an election for the first time in many years.

Caucus favourite and all round good bloke Grant McCullum is retiring, much to the disappointment of all those who have enjoyed many late nights out with him over the years. The National Party will be a sadder place for not having Grant around, and the party needs to consider how it brings the fun-loving type onto the board as the rest are very, very boring compared to Grant.

The other retirement is the (unfortunately) underwhelming scion of one of New Zealand?s most stellar families – Malcolm Plimmer, whose health is compelling him to retire. ? Read more »

The coming selection in Northland

The predictable demise of Northland MP Mike Sabin means a very blue seat is up for selection.

The majority is 9300, and Labour?s candidate, Willow-Jean Prime, has just had a baby, so is not expected to run again.

When Sabin won in 2011 there was considerable interest in the selection, with a good number of candidates putting their names forward. Some of these are expected to be contenders again.

Grant McCullum: Long time National Board member and perceived front runner in the last selection. Withdrew due to issues with a tricky missus. Inside word is she has just got more tricky over the years so McCullum will struggle to get approval to run. ? Read more »

Who will replace Peter “Dopey” Goodfellow as President?

The current board is the first place to look, but the talent pool is very shallow.

The two main contenders are Alastair Bell and Roger Bridge, and the merits (or lack thereof) of both will be examined in other posts.

The remaining members of the board are:

Grant McCullum – Tricky missus and regarded as being not quite the intellect that is required to be president. Bottles fights at the drop of a hat.? 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 »

Heatley Goes, Whangarei Up for Selection

Phil Heatley has jacked it in after five terms as an MP. Phil is a good bloke but didn?t quite make the grade so got the arse from cabinet last year.

Five-term National MP Phil Heatley will retire from politics next year, he has confirmed.

The former fisheries, housing and energy minister will not contest the Whangarei electorate at the election.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of being an MP and a Cabinet Minister. It has been an honour to serve the people of Whangarei, the place of my birth, since 1999,” he said.

It was a privilege to serve in Cabinet for five years from 2008, he said. The 46-year-old was dumped, along with conservation minister Kate Wilkinson, in a reshuffle earlier this year.

Heatley said he was proud of driving legislative reforms for marine farming and passing the Crown Minerals Act. ? Read more »

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.

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