Allan Peachey RIP

I heard late yesterday that Allan Peachey had died, the NZ Herald reports his death this morning.

National MP for Tamaki Allan Peachey has died.

Mr Peachey had been fighting illness for some time and it was confirmed this morning that he had died.

He had announced his retirement from politics last month because he did not think he would have been healthy enough to complete another three-year parliamentary term.

Mr Peachey was 61 years old.

My thoughts and prayers go out tot he family.


Tamaki redux – The Blokefest continues

Simon O’Connor has won the nomination for one of National’s safest seats – congratulations to Simon who won on the final ballot in the rushed contest to replace Allan Peachey after he resigned for ill health. This selection process has been exceptionally well run by the electorate chair and there has not been even a hint of skullduggery except by the President making his usual hamfisted interventions but no one in National thinks this is malicious, it is just the president has tits for hands.

The rushed selection has arguably not allowed delegates a proper chance to get to know the candidates, but the result accurately reflects the Tamaki constituency preference for a conservative male candidate who is well networked into the party, who presented fairly well and was good off-the-cuff. It also represents their desire to play it safe, by not selecting a candidate who would have represented unacceptable public relations risks for the party. There is also a suggestion that the aged males of Tamaki did not want a woman, which excluded three of the unsuccessful candidates (two of whom were female).

Commiserations to Denise Krum, who gave a great speech on the night and who presented well. It is unfortunate that she is still being tagged with the description of “former United Future president” in the Herald – she has earned the right to be described as National through and through.

Mark Thomas probably hung up his political boots last night after coming third (insiders suggested he was likely to win, and he had the support of some prominent Auckland Nats). His Party involvement has been defined by rejection at important moments – ?knifed by Bolger and humiliated at the hands of the famously narrow-minded Tamaki electorate.

It looks like once again Tamaki will have to be?satisfied?with a less than average MP.

The Tamaki Debacle

I covered the Tamaki lineup yesterday following the press release from National, and it’s pretty hard to not be underwhelmed by the list of names.

Closer selection of the leadup to the lineup shows some serious deficiencies in party planning.

That a seriously blue seat, considered to be one of the safest parliamentary seats that hauls in the membership and money to the party, should be left with a lineup of largely unknown, insipid and uninspiring people, beggars belief.

First issue – why did the by-election come as a surprise to the party? Everyone knew Allan Peachey was sick, but the refusal of Peter Goodfellow to intervene and demand answers from his sick MP back when it was obvious meant that the local electorate people had their hands tied under party rules. This?despite?numerous appeals to Goodfellow to something. Eventually, the electorate was fed up with Peachey’s furtive behaviour, demanded answers, and Peachey decided to move on. A decent Party President would have sat down with Peachey 4 or 5 months ago and negotiated a dignified exit, when it was reasonably obvious that Peachey was ill.

Secondly, did the Party President and local electorate make their move on Peachey without knowing if some quality contenders would come forward to replace him in a new selection?

Think about it – a competent party president would have had a Rolodex full of business cards of potential candidates around the region, and would have asked the local chairman if he had the names of some good people who would come forward – especially for a seat like Tamaki. Instead, top contenders ran a mile citing existing political interests or conflicts with work.

That there isn’t a quality known name in the race for a great seat is an indictment, mostly on Goodfellow and senior party people (unaffectionately known as “The Buggers Muddle”) in Auckland. That this has happened, when the electorate should be concentrating on an election instead of a massively rushed selection, deserves to have answers asked of the National Board.

The person I feel sorry for the most is the Electorate Chair who has to mange this whole shemozzle through. So far he is doing a good job and maintaining the rules and fairness with aplomb despite the ineffectual assistance of Peter Goodfellow.

Tamaki Nominations for National

from National party press release:

The National Party has announced a shortlist of five top nominees who have put their names forward for selection as National’s Tamaki candidate in the November 26 election.

A shortened candidate selection process is taking place after the decision by Tamaki MP Allan Peachey to step down at the election.? Tamaki’s pre-selection committee met last night, while a final selection will take place on October 26.

Tamaki Electorate chair Andrew Hunt says the candidates are:

  • Denise Krum
  • Toni Millar
  • Simon O?Connor
  • Seby Reeves
  • Mark Thomas

As with all selections this blog does not take a position on who should win the selection, as delegates are smart enough to choose the best candidate most of the time. ?A full profile of all candidates will be posted tomorrow.

This selection is being run very fairly, unlike others this cycle. Board members and regional chairs are not involved promoting candidates, in total breach of the ethics of their position, a position that requires complete neutrality.

Potential Tamaki candidates

Names are now starting to pop up for the rushed Tamaki selection. Names mentioned to the Whale, or mentioned in the media include:

Denise Krum – A more recently established National Party identity, Krum is struggling to make headway with some delegates, who see her as “nice, but not up to it”. Krum is 69 on National’s list, and on current polling stands a good chance of becoming a list Member of Parliament, certainly if there are some mid-term retirements anyway.

Karen Rolleston – An established National party identity, though not a resident of Tamaki, or anywhere near it, Rolleston has some X-Factor that makes her a worthy consideration for delegates. She presents well in person, though narrowly lost in Palmerston North which was not bad for a Jafa.

Alfred Ngaro – Ngaro was catapulted into the National list as one of the fresh new “diversity” faces, and will certainly be in Parliament. He was a good (but not great) candidate in the 2010 council elections, standing as a C&R candidate but losing the winnable Maungakiekie ward contest to Richard Northey. A Cook Islands Maori, Ngaro is educated, affable and presents well. Big things are expected of Ngaro, more than just a token cabinet ministry role.

Suzy Clarkson – ex Prime TV news presenter, and star of fitness videos back in the 1990s. Now reportedly working for Coca Cola as their public affairs director. Her National Party background is unknown. In this morning’s Herald, Cabinet Minister Paula Bennett is reportedly backing her, though this is not necessarily a useful thing.

D. Mark Harrison – A social media entrepeneur and Hobbit helper (he organised the marches for the Hobbit movie last year), Harrison is regularly found in the company of lingerie models and bikini pageant contestants. Fancies himself as a bit of a playboy. He would make Alasdair Thompson seem like a reasonable progressive if chosen. However, he presents well and his Kings College persona can be turned on at whim, making him a possible outside runner. His National Party background is unknown.

Aaron Bhatnagar – a friend of the Whale and established National Party identity. Missed out in Botany and Epsom. Needs more polish and some weight loss if he is to stand in another selection, but capable of being a strong MP if selected. Has been quoted as saying he is undecided about standing, and has already been the victim of an smear by the usual dark forces that congregate around Auckland National Party selections.

UPDATE: Aaron has confirmed with me today that he will NOT be seeking selection in Tamaki.

Mark Thomas – An established National Party identity and former candidate. Has a number of weaknesses that would cause National risk, including the fact he would cause a by-election if selected (he’s currently the spokesman for invisibility on the Orakei local board), comes across as effeminate, and is in a de facto relationship with his partner (Tamaki would be hostile to anything other than married). A public relations practitioner, famously once the paid PR stooge of Mark Hotchin, New Zealand’s second most hated man after Clayton Weatherston. He can’t have been that good allowing his client to be so branded. This also makes him a prime target for Labour, and would be viewed suspiciously by the St Heliers villagers who lost money in Hanover. His missus is said to be far more capable as a potential candidate.

Cameron Brewer – the rock star in the room. Is playing a media tease at the moment about his interest in Tamaki, but is the best known of the likely nominees, has a good National Party pedigree and is a monstrously effective media talent. Brewer would also cause a by-election if selected, which would no doubt have the blessing of Len Brown. Brewer is well advised by his old teammates in the National Party research unit in the Shipley years. May be seen as weak on policy by some delegates, but would probably be forgiven this as he would be incredibly effective in opposition when the Key government eventually does go out. Conceivably the only person in this lineup who could make cabinet prior to the 2014 elections, and if the whispers are correct, would.

David Williams – the ex headmaster of Saint Kentigern College around ten years ago has recently moved back to New Zealand after leading a school in Australia. His National Party background is unknown, though is well connected into the church community. Would probably have the support of the Peachey faction, who would like his strong education credentials and his socially conservative views (he is also a Presbyterian Minister). He would be expected to present very well.

Tamaki Contenders

The tipline has been running exceptionally hot over the last week, firstly with vested interest trying to get this blog to stick the knife into Allan Peachey. Now it is the same vested interests wanting to get their candidates promoted.

As with all selections I will take a neutral stance and not endorse any candidate. I did however recommend voting against Brent Robinson in Rodney but that was because of his skullduggery.

Cameron Brewer:?The Mayor of Newmarket. Long time Whaleoil friend and effective campaigner who won a seat on the Supercity council. A good prospect and a man who is well suited to retail politics. May not be able to justify leaving council but is probably more likely to succeed in central government than local government.

Denise Krum:?Former United Future chairmwoman and daughter of former National MP Graeme Lee. Did not make it through the preselection for Botany and was unsuccessful in Epsom. Probably does not present well enough to win a hotly contested selection in one of the bluest seats in the country

Aaron Bhatnagar: ?Another long time Whaleoil friend and former Auckland City Councillor. Unfortunately for Aaron he has lost selections in Botany where he was an outsider and Epsom where he was favourite, and despite years of loyal service to National and C&R he may not make it in Tamaki. Already the victim of a nasty smear that Scoop has thoughtfully corrected.

Mark Thomas: ?The man shafted by Jim Bolger in 1996 when he was National?s candidate in Wellington Central. Currently on the Orakei Local Board where the chair is the current paramour of Party President Peter Goodfellow. A man who has done a fantastic job running Sam Lotu-Iiga?s campaigns in Maungakiekie and has a reputation as a loyal party servant.

Karen Rolleston: ?Highly regarded woman from Helensville who was narrowly unsuccessful in Palmerston North and beaten by the skullduggery in Rodney before the second selection process had began. In a party lacking women MPs of merit Karen is a strong possibility although will struggle with the parochial nature of Tamaki electorate.

The only candidate that has already declared is Denise Krum. The others may or may not run. Good luck to all who are brave enough to run for public office, and hopefully this will be a fair contest.

Finally, all National Party members should remember Allan Peachey has been forced out by ill health and he deserves our sympathy, as well as our thanks as well as our attention. Too often the National Party thinks ?The King is Dead, Long Live the King? and deserts those who have served when they need compassion.

Peachey retires

Allan Peachey has announced his retirement.

Obviously the rumours of his ill-health have come to fruition and he has had to make the tough decision to step down. It is a shame for his career to end like this. I wish him well on his retirement.

National Party President Peter Goodfellow says National is to re-open a shortened candidate selection process in Tamaki, following the decision by Allan Peachey to stand aside at the next election.

“On behalf of the whole National family, I want to send Allan our warmest and best wishes for the future. We are behind him as he leaves to focus on his treatment and recovery, and spend more time with friends and family.”

Mr Goodfellow was informed by Mr Peachey yesterday that he intends to withdraw his candidacy, meaning that the Party will re-open a truncated selection process for the seat.

Nominations will be called tomorrow and close on October 14. A final selection is expected around October 25.

It will now be interesting to watch the vested interests, the plotters and buggers muddle try and diddle the selection process. There are several names being bandied around right now and some back-room plotting is underway in the region.