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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