Otago Daily Times

Na­tional to choose pres­i­dent


WELLINGTON: Hun­dreds of Na­tional Party del­e­gates have con­verged on Wellington to de­cide the fate of the party pres­i­dent on the back of a dis­as­trous elec­tion re­sult.

Three board po­si­tions are avail­able and four peo­ple are in con­tention, in­clud­ing cur­rent pres­i­dent Peter Good­fel­low.

His and board mem­ber Rachel Bird’s terms are coming to an end and both are seek­ing re­elec­tion.

Out­go­ing long­serv­ing MP David Carter is also putting his hat in the ring, along with for­mer board mem­ber Grant Mc­Cal­lum.

Mr Good­fel­low, who has been pres­i­dent since 2009, and the other con­tenders will each have five min­utes to­day to make their pitch.

Once the po­si­tions are con­firmed, a board meet­ing will be held this af­ter­noon at which the pres­i­dency will be de­cided.

There are nine mem­bers of the board — seven are elected and the other two are the leader and a cau­cus rep­re­sen­ta­tive, who is usu­ally a whip.

Elected mem­bers serve a term of two years, four of the po­si­tions coming up in one year and the other three the year af­ter.

This year there are three po­si­tions be­ing voted on by the del­e­gates, who in­clude MPs, and the con­sti­tu­tion dic­tates that at all times one of the mem­bers must be from the Auck­land/Northern re­gion, and an­other from the South Is­land.

Ms Bird is the South Is­land rep­re­sen­ta­tive so if she fails to be re­elected then Mr Carter would be cho­sen, on the ba­sis he is the only other con­tender from the South.

To­day, the con­tenders will make their case for be­ing on the board but the pres­i­dent will be de­cided solely by the newly elected board when it meets this af­ter­noon.

It could be this even­ing be­fore the re­sult of the pres­i­den­tial vote is known.

It was un­der­stood Mr Good­fel­low still had some support in the party and if re­elected to the board would likely also be pres­i­dent.

He was ac­cused of at­tempt­ing to de­rail a can­di­date for the Auck­land Cen­tral seat with talk­back ra­dio com­ments.

Leader Ju­dith Collins and Mr Good­fel­low would ad­dress the an­nual meet­ing this morn­ing. — RNZ

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