20 Nov 2020

Nats' election post-mortem: Will Peter Goodfellow get to keep his job?

12:28 pm on 20 November 2020

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

National Party President Peter Goodfellow.

If Peter Goodfellow is re-elected to the board it's highly likely he will also be re-elected as president, RNZ's Political reporter writes. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

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

His and current board member Rachel Bird's terms are coming to an end, but both are seeking re-election.

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

David Carter.

David Carter is seeking a place on the National Party's board. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

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

Once the positions are confirmed, a board meeting will be held tomorrow 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, with 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 includes 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.

Currently Bird is the South Island representative so if she fails to be re-elected then Carter would be chosen, on the basis he is the only other contender from the south.

Tomorrow 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 tomorrow afternoon.

It could be tomorrow evening before the result of the president vote is known.

It's understood Goodfellow still has some support in the party and if he is re-elected to the board it's highly likely he will also be re-elected as president.

While Goodfellow and Bird are seeking re-election the third vacancy has come about after Roger Bridge tendered his resignation.

He was accused of attempting to derail a candidate for the Auckland Central seat with a late-night call to talkback radio.

The radio station call centred on Nuwanthie Samarakone's campaign to be the candidate for the seat which was ultimately unsuccessful.

In the days leading up to the party's choice of a candidate to replace retiring Nikki Kaye, it emerged that a man calling himself Merv phoned Marcus Lush on NewstalkZB to criticise Samarakone's campaign.

Leader Judith Collins and Goodfellow will address the AGM tomorrow morning.

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