Roger Bridge

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 »

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 »

Section 97 remit unanimous, cue panic from 9th floor

John Key’s office and the panty-waist board wanted this mid cycle conference for the National party to be like an election year conference…a show case for the Prime Minister.

The board were ordered to nix the Young Nats popular remit regarding Section 97 and shunt it to a break out session. Messages were passed via various conduits that the Young Nats better STFU or they might find some things removed from them. One bizarre threat was to their ability to have HQ authorisation statements. The Young Nats understandably scoffed at such silly threats and proceeded anyway.

So the board and the 9th floor thought everything was sweet, and nice and calm…until the Young Nats President got up to make his speech and gave to them all right between the eyes. Sean Topham (during his President’s report to the Conference) ripped into how their section 97 remit was shunted to a break out session. He further expressed how the Young nats are extremely disappointed and it’s not on when the remit was so popular and topical.

Topham said “a few of our members who oppose this remit have done more for the unions than David Shearer ever will”. He further made the point that this was the first time in years that the Young Nats haven’t had a remit on the floor and how disappointing it was that their voices were prevented from being heard.  Read more »

Apparently being a fiscal conservative is bad in the National party

A “senior party source”, lol Roger Bridge, has leaked documents to the Herald, The Nation and Fairfax in an attempt to try and get rid of me and Simon Lusk. He tells David Fisher on page 10 [snigger]

“As far as I am concerned, dealing to them is not about airing dirty National Party laundry, but disposing of a political nuisance.”

Oh dear, this is going to backfire spectacularly. I’ll bet Simon’s phone is ringing off the hook from donors after the Herald quoted this:

[A] paper written by Mr Lusk dated February 2012 and titled “Building A Conservative Fiscal Majority.” It begins: “This National government has been a disappointment to fiscal conservatives.

The wet wing of the National Party control the senior ranks of the party and cannot be easily replaced without losing an election. After National loses an election there will be a clean out.”

The purpose now, he said, was to plan ahead to “move the political centre to the right”. “New Zealand’s political market is exceptionally retarded. The first organised group to professionalise and fund politics properly will obtain prime mover advantage and control the market for sometime. This is a one-off opportunity to exploit the gap in the market and I am looking to exploit this gap.”  Read more »

Job Done – Gilmore’s gone

It looks like the back-room boys have done their work after the call went out mid-week that the board wasn’t getting anywhere.

Some calls have been made, some stern words been had, and Aaron Gilmore is gone. Job done.

Disgraced National List MP Aaron Gilmore has announced he will resign from Parliament.

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I announce my intention to resign from Parliament,” Mr Gilmore said in a statement.

“After taking counsel from colleagues and family in recent days, I have decided that to stay on in Parliament would only serve to cause my loved ones more upset, and cause me undeserved further stress.”

Mr Gilmore said media scrutiny in recent days since reports of his night out in Hanmer Springs where he was abusive to a waiter had “put me and those who are important to me under immense pressure with an attempt to discredit me”.

“I have made mistakes. I am human. But the attacks on my integrity have started taking a toll on those around me and this is unfair on them.”

Mr Gilmore said he’d advised the National Party’s whips of his decision.

“I also want to make clear my support for the National Party and Prime Minister John Key remains unwavering.”

Questions now need to be asked about some key members of the board and their performance over the past few weeks, notably Peter Goodfellow and Roger Bridge.

A couple of phone calls and the knifing was done…that is how it should be done not endless conference calls with yelling and finger-pointing.

Grant Robertson, Prime Minister? – Toothless

Grant Robertson

Grant Robertson is the deputy leader of the Labour Party, and that means he is supposed to be the attack dog. He is supposed to sink his teeth into opponents and hang on grimly. In this role he has been toothless, and I am sure a redneck commenter will explain why.

National have handed up a whole lot of meat for Grant to sink his teeth in but he hasn’t even gummed them. He could start by asking about a senior political figure who has a suppression order over a domestic incident. He could then orchestrate a series of questions about National Party President and Sanford Director Peter Goodfellow’s business dealings starting with their $2.3m fine for deliberate pollution in the United States.

Peter Goodfellow keeps giving Labour free hits, and Grant keeps refusing. Sanford has issues with “slave labour” that are in the public domain, and these come up in the media repeatedly, yet Grant hasn’t asked the tough questions. Labour are supposed to look after the oppressed, yet one of the oppressors has escaped public scrutiny because Grant hasn’t manned up.

Grant could have also asked a series of questions about the investment in a Nelson property that left investors out of pocket for about $5m, with National Party Board Member Roger Bridge, and former Board member Craig Myles being the directors of the company involved.

This may seem a bit minor but Michael Cullen would have made National ministers look corrupt by tough questioning about Goodfellow and Bridge. Cullen would have convinced the New Zealand public that where there was smoke there was fire, and National were dodgy.

If Grant is serious about being Prime Minister he will start savaging National, holding Key to account for the people around him. That’s if he can overcome a habit of a lifetime and bare his teeth.

Who will replace Roger Bridge, Ctd

The tipline is saying that a much broader net is being cast looking for a replacement for Roger Bridge. The parliamentary wing are concerned that there is no natural successor to Peter Goodfellow, who is rumoured to be thinking of standing down so he doesn’t have to fundraise for the 2014 election. Of course Peter Goodfellow has his own bad news stories that follow him around like a bad smell. On Thursday Sanford was again in the news for all the wrong reasons. With Goodfellow on their board they have been accused of using slave labour and been prosecuted for illegal dumping and pollution in American Samoa.

It is likely that National will have to bring in a strong leader from outside the current board to replace Peter, and this is an opportunity to bed someone in before they replace Peter.

The name that immediately springs to mind is Wira Gardiner. Long time readers will remember that this blog took a hostile position on Wira’s candidacy in 2009, as he was too conflicted given his wife was on caucus. His ham-fisted campaign managed by Michelle Boag counted against him and he did not win a seat on the board.

This blog is willing to admit mistakes and Wira would have been a far better president than Peter. The conflict of interest is a problem, but both Wira and Hekia are professional enough to manage it. After smashing up Nick Smith so effectively Boag is no longer a player in National, and Wira would not be seeking advice from her.

If Wira were available he would make fine board member, and could take over from Peter Goodfellow next July, leading the party wing of National into the 2014 election. On a board of non-entities he would be a real leader.

Who will replace Roger Bridge?

If the rumours that Roger Bridge is intending to tender his resignation are true National has the mechanism to replace a board member without a fresh election. This happened in when then board members Eric Roy and David Bennett resigned to contest the 2005 election.

The difficulty in replacing Roger is there is a fairly limited talent pool for potential directors. In recent years Alan Towers has lost board elections twice, so obviously not popular enough within the party to deserve a place. Regional chair for the CNI Peter Osborne is regarded as one of the most indiscrete men in the party, and someone who would probably leak even more than the current board leaks. Plus he has a moustache and men with moustaches generally can’t be trusted.

Both men are members of the buggers muddle and Osborne especially loves to meddle in selections and is a known misogynist who actively seeks to discourage women candidates. The last thing National needs is to be taken over by the kind of factional fighting we see in Labour. Placing either on the board means a confirmed vote for the buggers muddle factional leader Alastair Bell for president, and sources from close to the parliamentary leadership are saying there is no way Alastair Bell will ever be president because he has repeatedly proven himself to be a lightweight.

The only other regional chair not on the board is Ele Ludemann from the Southern Region. Ele is a much loved member of the National Party whose grace is unusual in political parties, where pettiness often dominates. Ele would provide a welcome strategic brain on the board, and would be a nice geographical replacement for Roger, but may get tripped up by overt and unsubtle lobbying by the buggers muddle.

The NBR on Roger Bridge

National Board member Roger Bridge is in the NBR (paid content) but has declined to comment about the affairs of a Heartland loan.

Roger Bridge deflects queries on Heartland loan

Britannia Management and National Party director Roger Bridge has declined to discuss progress on the recovery of a toxic Heartland loan.

He referred all queries to fellow Britannia director Craig Myles.

Listed Heartland recently confirmed it has taken control of a Nelson subdivision which is the security for one of its toxic loans.

The debt has grown to about $8 million with penalty interest.

This is a very sad day for the National Party. Roger is a National man through and through, and one of the few true gentlemen left in New Zealand, and he is well loved throughout the country. Many have benefited from Roger’s legendary hospitality and generosity, and it is not too much to say that there are members of caucus and cabinet who owe their places in politics to Roger.

Hopefully Roger will be able to fight his way through this. Parties are built on men like Roger, and National needs more honest men, not fewer, and unfortunately Rogers impeccable manners may mean he resigns rather than cause the party embarrassment.

Who will be on the National Party Board in 2022?

Following on from the series of posts I am doing about the National Party in 10 years time let’s consider the National Party Board. The current members are:

John Key
Michael Woodhouse
Peter Goodfellow
Roger Bridge
Alastair Bell
Pat Seymour
Malcolm Plimmer
Kate Hazlett

We can safely assume John Key will not be leader or on the board in 2022. Michael Woodhouse likely won’t be on the board as list MPs do not last 15 years as so rightly pointed out by David Farrar.

Peter Goodfellow certainly will not be around. Presidential tenures are usually not more than five or six years. Of the rest most are of advanced age, or served for a long time already, and whose best time in the party was before 2011. This means I think that it is fair to say that there will be no current board members still serving in 2022. In fact it is hard to see many of them serving when National goes into opposition and politics gets really tough for National again.

The clear implications of this is that if you want to be involved in the party in the future you can safely ignore idle threats made by the current board as they will not be around in ten years time.