Megan Campbell

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National Party Selections round-up

Northland

Front runner, all round bloody good guy and National Party stalwart Grant McCullum has dropped out of selection making it a relatively open race. The five that remain are Sarah Davies, Matt King, Ken Rintoul, Mike Sabin and Mark Tan and they will have huge shoes to fill in replacing John Carter. John’s one of the most liked guys in caucus and a man who has friends all over the country due to his easy going nature and willingness to help out with campaigns. Cactus Kate has already dealt with the inappropriate-ness of Sarah Davies.

Rodney

This blog has said what it thinks about Rodney, so wont be saying any more other than if you are a fundamentalist christian go and be a missionary, don’t try to impose your religious views on the National Party and the country.

North Shore

It looks like we will see Maggie Barry emerging as the successful candidate there. Despite Maggie being beaten in Botany by Jami-Lee Ross, she has intimidated out some potentially good candidates so is left with opposition that is very weak. Former Councillor Paul Goldsmith is not likely to woo many delegates as he is too austere to be likable.

Maggies impending selection is probably good for New Zealand, as our politics has shown a disregard for older candidates, yet in other countries politicians do not reach the peak of their careers until much later in life. Maggie will appeal to a group of voters outside North Shore that probably would not vote National.

Coromandel

The meet the candidates events have finished and it appears to be a two horse race between long time Whaeloil friend and long time party servant Scott Simpson and Megan Campbell. This is a tight race and this blog wishes both candidates all the best for the final night. One note however is that silly games and rumour-mongering seem to have started in the lead up to the selection on the 19th. Those games should stop otherwise I might have to expose them. One thing I know for certain is that claiming endorsement from the hierarchy or leadership almost certainly leads one to destruction. Playing negative is not rewarded in National party selections because at the end of the process you all have to work together and a campaign for selection run with rumour, innuendo and spite is detrimental to that. National party delegates like to save that for the enemy.

Rangitikei

Sadly the tragedy afflicting the Guy family has meant Nikki Guy has decided not to proceed with the nomination. This blog has only heard exceptionally good things about Nikki and fortunately she is young enough to be an MP for National at some stage in the future.

This leaves Manawatu Mayor Ian McKelvie as the front runner, and like Nikki only good things have come through the tip line. Ian would bring a sensible rural voice to a caucus that is becoming increasingly dislocated from the rural economy.

Wellington Central

Paul Foster-Bell is the presumptive candidate after the first meet the candidates meeting, but is unlikely to be a threat to the incumbent Labour MP, Grant Robertson.

Wigram

Few candidates are putting their name forward for a really tough red seat.

Dunedin South

Another tough red seat where the likely and highly regarded candidate has left for Australia.

Coromandel selection Candidates

I have been remiss and not published the Coromandel candidate details. So here goes.

Remember this blog does not take sides in selec­tion races, except when skulduggery is taking place. The del­e­gates can be trusted to make the right choice, and should be left alone to make the right choice.

What will appear, though, is com­men­tary on the can­di­dates and the race, with every effort to be made to be as even handed as possible.

When select­ing can­di­dates there are sev­eral fac­tors that years of expe­ri­ence around politi­cians mean I believe are rel­e­vant. The usual hon­esty and integrity are given, so the fac­tors for del­e­gates to con­sider are:

  • a suc­cess out­side of politics
  • going to remem­ber the peo­ple that elected them, and be a good party member
  • able to win votes from swingers not just National sup­port­ers. Even the bluest seat mat­ters with the party vote count­ing for every­thing under MMP, and some­one that can not win swing vot­ers should not be selected
  • do they have a con­nec­tion to the elec­torate or just burn­ing ambition

The poten­tial can­di­dates are Megan Campbell, Brian Sharp, Scott Simp­son and Heather Tanner. As a dis­claimer I have known Scott for as long as I can remem­ber and count him as a friend. All candidates have the massive pro they are not Sandra Goudie so Coromandel will not have a mad MP since Stinky Fitzsimons won it.

Megan Campbell

Pros

  • Long time National worker in parliament as well as in electorates
  • Current Electorate chair in CNI region
  • Well connected in the party both inside and outside parliament
  • Former Treasury analyst
  • Community minded
  • Empathetic, compassionate and extremely likable across  right/left divide

Cons

  • Former Treasury analyst
  • Can be seen as a policy wonk

Brian Sharp

Pros

  • Local, lives in Thames
  • Wife is a good asset, truth be told she should be the one standing
  • Architect

Cons

  • Self confessed poor speaker
  • Older candidate
  • Not going to set the world on fire
  • Unlikely to ever make cabinet let alone a select committee chair

Scott Simp­son

As men­tioned I have known Scott for a long time. He has been a loyal party mem­ber for many, many years, serv­ing on the board and as regional chair. He was unsuc­cess­ful in the selec­tion process for Tamaki in 2005, though he would have made a far bet­ter MP than Allan Peachey. He also had his name in the hat for Rodney electorate but inextricably withdrew from that contest despite being the front-runner.

Pros

  • Been involved with National for a long time
  • Doesn’t get on with the party president
  • Well con­nected within the party

Cons

  • No real con­nec­tion to the electorate except his beach house at Kuaotunu
  • Senior party hack
  • Will strug­gle to win swing voters
  • Not the most suc­cess­ful career out­side of National party politics
  • Should have chal­lenged Peachey in Tamaki not run­ning out­side his home area

Heather Tanner

Pros

  • Woman
  • Maori
  • School teacher

Cons

  • Woman
  • Maori
  • School teacher
  • Appears aloof or cold
  • Had the opportunity to build strong community ties and relationships in local Party but hasn’t done the work. Only been member for two years.

Coromandel selection update

Last night was the first Meet the Candidates meeting in Coromandel. It was held in Te Aroha.

There are 4 candidates (alphabetical order):

Megan Campbell
Brian Sharp
Scott Simpson
Heather Tanner

After the speeches it became very apparent that this is actually a two horse race. Brian Sharp stood up to deliver his speech and started off by saying he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to speak about at selection meetings and then waffled on about not much in particular. Not a good start. Heather Tanner claimed the Maori, school teacher, female demographic as if this were a Labour party selection meeting where quota matter. Her candidate materials aren’t that flash either.

Scott Simpson and Megan Campbell both spoke well with my sources telling me that Megan Campbell won the speech section easily with a “vison” style speech. Scott Simpson played up his remote local connection mentioning some long dead relative from the 1800s. I wonder if he was planning on using that speech in Roney? Perhaps not. I still haven’t worked out the underlying strategy of my long-time friend Scott Simpson, delegates tend not to like candidates shopping around electorates for a seat in parliament.

My sources also tell me that Scott Simpson was the winner of the Q&A section but it was close.

With two more meetings this week and then a strange 9 day break before the selection on the 19th the race is clearly between Megan Campbell and Scott Simpson.

Of course as is usual this blog favours no candidate and relies on the local delegates to pick the best person to represent Coromandel for the future. As is usual, I suspect that delegates will be looking for longevity but not tenure, star quality but not prima donna activities and the good possibility that their MP will one day sit in cabinet.

I will update again after the next MtC meeting.

National Party Selection Update: Coromandel

Rumours of a high profile party official running in Coromandel are true, with long time Whaleoil friend and former regional chair and party board member Scott Simpson putting his name forward. Word through from the tip line suggests Scott was badly bruised in Rodney, and has decided that with the removal of regional delegates from Rodney he is trying somewhere else.

iPredict seems to know something, with Scott being sold down to 7 cents.

Others in Coromandel are Heather Tanner (a school teacher, FFS!), Megan Campbell and Brian Sharp (architect and former TCDC councillor). A detailed post will follow when more information is know about all of these, with the early word out of the electorate that sitting MP Sandra Goudie seems to be heavily involved.

Knowing Sandra, this could be a positive or a negative depending on which side of bed Sandra has got out of on any given day. The smart money is favouring Sandra staying in bed, and probably in bed somewhere on the other side of the world until after selection.

The tipline has also run hot with the calls about National’s campaign training day on Saturday. Someone needs to be held to account for the disconnect between selection and campaign training, as there are still many seats without candidates. This blog has pointed out that the President and the Campaign Manager have been negligent in not having selection complete by now. Labour have had their candidates ready for months and it is not as if it is a surprise there is going to be an election in 2011.

On a positive note the campaign day includes Hekia Parata talking about running a strong campaign, based on her success in the Mana by-election. This blog is predicting Hekia will win the seat of Mana on November the 26th, especially as Kris McFa’afoi appears to be MIA cleaning up his own domestic issues.

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.