John Kirikiri

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

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.

 

iPredict launches Rodney selection stocks

iPredict has launched Rodney selection stocks.

Current prices are:

Scott Simpson to be National’s candidate for RodneyPrice: $0.61 Probability: 61.5%
Brent Robinson to be National’s candidate for RodneyPrice: $0.34 Probability: 33.9%
Mark Mitchell to be National’s candidate for Rodney: Price: $0.02 Probability: 2.5%

I expect these numbers to hop all over the place for the next week as the candidates start meeting the new delegates after the audit and re-casting of delegates is complete.

The safe money is still on Scott Simpson with his strong Regional Head Office backing, though the silly actions of some of his supporters might dent that a bit. Still, Scott likes to claim he is the front runner in every race he enters and so it appears according to iPredict. It will be interesting to see if regional interests will trump local interests.

Maybe iPredict should launch a stock on whether or not this selection ends up before the courts.

Meanwhile I’ll post updates each evening on the stocks. This could well be a good test for iPredict.

Rodney First Meet the Candidates Meeting

Many thanks to all those who have contacted the tip line after last nights first meet the candidates in Rodney.

The real outcome was there was no real change in the way the race is shaping up. Brent did not do enough to prevent all those who think he is unethical to change their minds. Scott confirmed his front runner status with a solid performance.

The only strange thing was Brent, Scott and Chris all went negative, which is the cardinal sin in selection. It puts off delegates and they get very, very annoyed with people who attack their fellow party members. For someone as experienced as Scott this was an odd move and it may mean it is time to look closely at his advisors. They may need rapid replacement with actual professionals to ensure Scott doesn’t lose the unloseable selection.

Several allegedly “concerned” people have mentioned they have now seen the delegate list and Scott has colluded with Regional Chair Alan Towers to rig the regional delegate list. This blog is unsure how to react to these claims, mainly because Scott has been around the party for so long that it is likely that any list of regional delegates will be supporting him due to his service in the party.

Alan Towers does not have a reputation for deviousness, and it would be strange to think that Scott would try to rig the selection when he knows that this blog will out any attempt to do so in the interests of fairness. Anyone with further information about this should contact the tip line.

Rodney Skulduggery Recap

This blogs exposure of dodgy dealings in the National Party Rodney selection process needs a recap after the mainstream media decided to report on it, and David Farrar linked to it.

New readers to this blog will not be aware of the official policy of neutrality in National Party selections, with members being trusted to make the right decision. In this case, extremely unethical behaviour by one candidate, Brent Robinson, and the electorate chair Cehill Pienaar, means that this policy is changing to a simple “Anyone but Brent” platform.

Here is an approximate timeline:

1. Lockwood Smith announces he will be a list only candidate on October 27 2010.

2. There are four branches in the Rodney electorate, with Cehill Pienaar the electorate chair and Brent Robinson the branch chair in Wainui.

3. The Wainui branch has 39 members.

4. Cehill Pienaar intimidates four candidates out of the race, three of whom are willing to go on record to explain what happened to them. This includes prominent right wing commentator Matthew Hooton, who was told if he put his name forward the entire electorate committee would resign. Cehill Pienaar actually does resign in anger and later withdraws his resignation and denies it ever took place to reputable journalists.

5. At the AGM on Friday 11th, the Wainui branch has been branch stacked, with more than 250 new $5 members, much to the surprise of the rest of the electorate and Lockwood Smith.

6. Via the tipline, the word is most of the new members are from a fundamentalist church that Brent belongs to. Some tiplines un-kindly describe the protaganists as members of “The Cult”

7. Cehill Pienaar is outed as an extreme right wing former South African politician, and this blog is attempting to verify stories about his career South Africa in the ‘80s and ’90s. There will be more on this in a later post.

8. The fundamentalist Maxim Institute have been pointed to as behind this selection jack up, as the first stage for the takeover of the National Party by fundies. Brent is apparently one of 37 candidates they have primed around the country to take over caucus between now and 2017.

9. In the appointment of delegates for the selection process, Lockwood Smith’s long standing campaign manager was not chosen for selection so ideologically safe Brent Robinson supporters could be put in place.

10. Five candidates made it through selection. Brent Robinson, Mark Mitchell, Chris Penk, Scott Simpson and John Kirikiri.

11. Backroom sources are suggesting that PM’s office is now being forced to get involved. Cehill Pienaar is going to be scrutinised carefully, and Brent Robinson may be told to gracefully withdraw so he can run again in East Coast Bays in 2014.

These sort of bully-boy tactics might have been de rigueur in South Africa in the 80s and 90s but they have no place in New Zealand politics in 2011. With the advent of blogs exposure is just a tipline call away.

The delegates of Rodney have a choice in this selection process. They could choose a man who has behaved entirely unethically in Brent Robinson, or they could choose one of four other men who have played the game by the rules.

Rodney Selection Update 2

Nominations are now closed. There are five candidates that are going through to pre-selection. It is probably fair to say that they all will get through, even if there is a blood feud between Scott Simpson and Peter Goodfellow. Peter being useless won’t be able to blackball Scott in the manner of that an adept and nasty president like Michelle Boag would have been able to.

While all candidates should go through to selection, if I was running the reference checks I would take a very careful look at John Kirikiri and Brent Robinson. These candidates need some questions asked of them, perhaps in the pre-selection meeting especially about previous employment and the circumstances surrounding their departure.

Being beaten by a 25 year old poseur in a council race is unfortunately not a good look for John, who is one of the most engaging and likable guys I have run into in politics. Brent also requires careful scrutiny for why he left his previous employment even though he appears to have been successful in winning government contracts and sucking off the public teat in his present firm.

Despite the reservations about Brent he is a clear front runner, having done the hard yards in the electorate over a number of years. He needs to convince delegates his service is also backed up with merit and he offers something more than being a second rater permanently sucking off the public teat, with a long career in one of the safest blue seats in the country.

Scott Simpson, as mentioned previously, is a mate of mine, and I have known Scott for years. If he were running in his home turf of Tamaki I would be backing him, but I am not sure he hasn’t left his run for parliament too late. Scott is a year older than Maggie Barry, and the National Party seem to have some silly ageist rule about selecting candidates.

Scott’s other problem is there are few shitfights in the National Party that Scott hasn’t been in the thick of, even when they weren’t fights he needed to be involved with. He will have to convince delegates they need a scrapper and an outsider to represent them, as well as avoid the interference expected from the President.

Chris Penk may make it as an MP one day, but he needs to build his CV and work out how to appeal to the broad, largely secular church that is modern New Zealand.

Mark Mitchell has a strong track record, and from what I have been told is an engaging and friendly guy with a lot of family in Rodney. He grew up in Rodney, went to school in Rodney and worked in Rodney so he is not a total carpet bagger like Maggie Barry. He is a decorated police officer, and not just medals for service. Since leaving the police he has had an interesting career in Kuwait involved in managing big private security firms. His involvement in providing security and safety for the two major ports in Iraq, working closely with both the Pentagon and State Department and ongoing negotiations to solve the Somali pirate problem mean he is no second rater and delegates should carefully consider him even if they do not know him as well as they know Brent.

If I were a delegate I would want to ask Brent about his previous career moves. Mark I would ask about whether he was willing to do the boring work on the backbenches after years of running big organisations and being able to affect real change and make decisions quickly. John I would ask if he wanted to go down to the pub for a beer as he has a fund of great stories. Scott I would ask why he isn’t running against Peachey in Tamaki, and Chris I would ask if he would like to meet some nice, christian women looking for a husband.

Rodney Selection Update

I owe the readers an apology for getting it wrong about Maggie Barry running in Rodney, but when you are told someone is going to buy a house and move to the electorate at a candidates meeting two days before nominations close you tend to believe them.

Maggie really should get some proper advise, she is going to ruin her chances if she doesn’t get someone to tell her how to build a political career.

So Maggie is out, and that leaves five: Scott Simpson, Brent Robinson, John Kirikiri, Chris Penk & Mark Mitchell who have put themselves forward for preselection.

John Kirikiri

John is a likeable rogue, and a former opponent of mine in the Albany super city council election. He didn’t win, but he is a good guy even if likeable rogue might be being a little uncharitable.

Pros

  • Likable, friendly guy
  • Local and well connected
  • Experienced politically
  • Former Deputy Mayor Rodney

Cons

  • Looks like an opportunist as he has limited National Party involvement
  • Appears a little roguish
  • References may not quite stack up
  • Can appear to talk down to people

Chris Penk

A copy of Chris’ brochure has come through the tip line and is a little like the candidate, light on content. Chris is a new resident in Rodney having run for local body in West Auckland. He is a former Navy junior officer and a small time lawyer doing the same sort of thing Figjam used to do badly before he got a pocket borough.

Cynics suggest his military career is not of as much consequence.

Pros

  • Involved in National doing the hard yards in boring areas like rules
  • Known to the party
  • Nice inoffensive clean cut man, who most mothers would love to have him take out their daughters

Cons

  • Never really done much outside of politics
  • Known in the party
  • Ultra conservative Christian who probably does not represent modern New Zealand making him unelectable outside of a blue seat or the Bible Belt of Mt Roskill
  • Looks like he is not long out of the Young Nats

Neither of these guys are serious contenders this time around. Chris might make it in another electorate when he builds a stronger career.