9 Jun 2021

Judith Collins still backing National Party president Peter Goodfellow

9:13 am on 9 June 2021

Judith Collins still supports her party president, Peter Goodfellow, despite questions surrounding the quality of National Party candidates and party culture recently.

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National Party president Peter Goodfellow. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Last week Collins ripped into former party candidate Jake Bezzant after allegations arose that he posted naked pictures of an ex-girlfriend and impersonated her online.

The Bezzant issue reignited questions about how National chose its potential MPs, with the party leadership promising to improve the way candidates were selected.

Goodfellow said he intended to stay on in the role, despite acknowledging problems with candidate selection.

Collins said last week she still had confidence in Goodfellow, and backed that up again today.

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Judith Collins. Photo: Dom Thomas

She was questioned on Morning Report about Goodfellow in the wake of comments made over the weekend by National Party MP Paul Goldsmith, who said that colonisation was "on balance" a good thing for Māori.

Collins and other National MPs have been distancing them from the remarks.

"Peter has my full support, I think it is a very tough job," she told Morning Report.

As for whether it was time for him to go, the president's position was decided by the party board, she said.

"It's a terribly tough job and I think it's very important that I will always support the president because I think it's a really tough job and I work very closely with the board and I'm a member of the board now, and I understand how hard this job is."

As for party culture in general, she said that fighting a lot of fires was "relatively normal in any party when they are in opposition".

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