21 Nov 2020

National Party delegates to choose president, board members today

6:13 am on 21 November 2020

The fate of the National Party's president following a disastrous election result will be decided today.

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Peter Goodfellow is seeking re-election to the board at the annual general meeting in Wellington today. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Peter Goodfellow's term as a board member has come to an end but he, along with South Island board member Rachel Bird, are both seeking re-election at the annual general meeting in Wellington.

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

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

This morning, leader Judith Collins and Goodfellow will both address the hundreds of delegates, including MPs, before moving into the more formal voting.

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National Party leader Judith Collins Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The four board contenders will have five minutes to make their pitch to the delegates before voting will take place - a result is not expected until this afternoon.

At that point the new board will meet and choose the new president - it could be tonight before there is a decision.

Goodfellow has been president since 2009.

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

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, which 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, on the basis he is the only other contender from the south.

The third vacancy on the board this year 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 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.

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