23 Jun 2022

National Party board president Peter Goodfellow resigns

10:51 am on 23 June 2022

The National Party's president for 13 years, Peter Goodfellow, will not seek re-election at the next annual party conference.

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Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

In a statement this morning, Goodfellow said a new president would be elected by the party's board at the annual conference in August.

He said he would remain as a director on the board for one term to help with the transition.

"I've seen highs and lows, and after much reflection, I feel the time is now right for someone else to take National into the future as president," he said.

He said he had intended to retire in 2016, but Sir John Key's resignation as prime minister convinced him to remain in the role.

Since 2018 he had "worked tirelessly to help improve and diversify the skillset around our board table. To revitalise and reform the party and its systems, and to unite our great party after a very public period of instability and distraction," he said.

With the party now going from strength to strength under Christopher Luxon and Nicola Willis' leadership, he was confident the party had the right people and processes in place, he said.

"I will be forever grateful to our members for their ongoing support of me as a board member, and to our directors for their confidence in continuing to re-elect me as president."

Goodfellow is National's longest-serving president and has been a party member for 50 years.

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National's leader Christopher Luxon Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Luxon thanked Goodfellow for his "enormous contribution".

"I have found Peter's experience, knowledge and wise counsel invaluable in the time that I have been leader," he said.

Goodfellow had overseen the party during a successful Key/English era, Luxon said, and continued through a "period of change and reset, with National now being competitive once again and having our best opportunity to win in 2023.

"Peter should be immensely proud of his legacy and the contribution he has made not only as the Party's longest serving President, but also as a member and supporter for over 50 years. We are grateful for his exceptional record of service."

Goodfellow remained in the role last year despite former speaker and Cabinet minister David Carter taking a tilt at the position.

At the time, Carter said he had "zero confidence" in Goodfellow and abruptly resigned from his position on the board after losing the vote.

David Carter.

David Carter resigned from National's board after losing the vote for party president last year. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

Goodfellow had been under pressure over his handling of the 2020 election campaign, and candidates like Jake Bezzant and Andrew Falloon bringing selection processes under the spotlight.

Former National leader Judith Collins' sudden demotion of Simon Bridges late last year, which led to Collins being replaced, prompted further calls from Carter for Goodfellow to step down.

The day after Bridges' demotion, a statement from Goodfellow revealed that decision had not had the board's "unanimous support" as Collins had claimed.

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