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Nats’ Botany Selections

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, January 21st, 2011 - 60 comments
Categories: by-election, national - Tags: ,

National have announced their short-list for Botany:

  • Maggie Barry
  • Aaron Bhatnagar
  • Darron Gedge
  • Jami-lee Ross
  • Dr Edward Saafi

DPF almost got his selections right, but the Senior Party Officials who get to select a National short-list went for former Destiny Party candidate Saafi over former United Future candidate Denise Krum.  Daniel Newman, George Hawkin’s former right-hand man, doesn’t get a look in, despite his working with Judith Collins – wonder if he’ll go for Manurewa?  And I wonder if Bhatnagar will take his father’s deep pockets back to Epsom when he loses?

It will be Maggie Barry or Jami-Lee Ross.  The elimination of Denise Krum suggests to me that Maggie Barry is intended – no split of the women’s vote being the idea.  Jami-Lee Ross is probably thought too useful with his continual muck-raking and obstructionism in Len Brown’s SuperCity.  And young enough to have another go.

But what gets me is that whenever there’s a Labour selection there’s cries of a “lack of democracy” and people being foisted on the electorate by “head office” or “the unions”.  Apart from that blatantly not being true – the votes don’t add up that way – Labour does not have Head Office weed out 8 candidates it doesn’t like, and say “choose from the remainder”.

Interestingly National prohibits the Five from talking to the media.  Does that mean Maggie Barry can’t talk to herself?

NB selection criteria:

Labour: Anyone who has been a member for 1 year can stand, others can get a head office waiver.  On the selection day there is a vote split where the local party gets 2 or 3 votes (dependent on local party size), the head office gets 2 and the local people who turn up on the day get a further 2 votes (1 delegate and 1 floor vote).  So head office cannot impose.  “Foisted by unions” means the unions have got a lot of their Labour Associate Members who have been members within the electorate for 1 year and convinced them to all turn up and vote for a particular candidate to get the 2 on the day votes.

National: Head Office makes a short-list of nominated candidates.  On the day they appear to have a roughly 50:50 split between local and regional votes.

Others: Anyone care to inform me?

60 comments on “Nats’ Botany Selections ”

  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox 1

    Looks more like an ACT candidate pre-selection list than National. In mean Maggie Barry almost looks moderate to these guys. Given the lack of ability in their caucus I’m sure she would do pretty well after she wins.

  2. Rich 2

    I thought it was a done deal for Maggie Barry?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1

      Sounds like some people in National party HQ don’t want Bhanatgar and Ross in Welllington.

  3. big bruv 3

    Will the unions bus in hundreds of their people to support head offices choice?…………..

    Oh hang on…..silly me, wrong party, National have a democratic selection process.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      The majority of the delegates is also appointed from outside the electorate by the regional head office.

      Since when did having appointed people be democratic

      • mcflock 3.1.1

        In the tory playbook, “democracy” is when the people have an opportunity to vote the way the rich feel they should.

        In their view, appointing officeholders is actually more democratic than people voting for the candidates they prefer – look at eCan.

      • Fisiani 3.1.2

        Apparently with just a few minutes checking on the web you will find that The National Party pre-selection committee consists of the Electorate Chairman and 4 others from the Electorate. The other 4 members of the 9 member panel are chosen by the Party President and the Regional Chairman.
        National is NOT like Labour. the wishes of the locals are not outnumbered.

        • Peter

          You obviously know nothing about Labour selections then.
          Labour selections – 2 local LEC delegates, 1 delegate from the floor, 1 vote from the floor, which adds up to 4 votes out of an overall panel of 7.

          Seems in favour of the locals to me…

          • Pascal's bookie

            …and not to mention the fact that tories are temperamentally inclined to follow the lead of anyone they see as a legitimate authority. hence botany nats happily voting for Hide the garrote inc. when given the wink. See also: Mt Albert and Melissa Lee.

            …basically you could have the whole selection committee bar one be locals and the head office candidate would always win.

            It’s the same reason they all clutch their pearls and pass around the smelling salts when someone engages in any sort of civil disobedience.

            “OMG, people aren’t doing as their told, why are they doing that? It’s not natural. Slippery slope, you’ll see, they’ll be fucking in the bushes next, you mark my words. It’s all a result of that music they listen too. Jungle rhythms, etc”

            It’d be tiresome if it wasn’t so funny.

          • Nick C

            “1 vote from the floor, which adds up to 4 votes out of an overall panel of 7”

            Ha! And of those on the floor how many are union members shipped in from all over the place who barely know what a political party is and do what they are told by union bosses?

            If you’re in Mana for example, a lot: http://big-news.blogspot.com/2010/09/labour-party-member-confirms-faafoi.html

            • Peter

              “shipped in from all over the place”

              Again, this is laughable. Union members from the very few affiliated unions must live in the electorate. Not much point in shipping in people from outside if they can’t vote…

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          From May 2009

          Serious questions need to be asked about the level of democracy within the National party after internal party documents revealed that List MP Melissa Lee has already been named its Mt Albert candidate, Opposition Chief Whip Darren Hughes said today.
          “An embarrassing oversight has revealed John Key’s stitch up to have his preferred candidate win the candidacy just hours before the supposed ‘democratic’ selection is to take place,” Darren Hughes said.

          or this in Sept 2007

          Colin Espiner has a story in yesterday’s Press saying that the heads of three National Party branches in the Canterbury district supported by 35 other party members have made a formal complaint to National President Judy Kirk alleging breaches of rules by the selection committee for the Selwyn candidate for National. List MP David Carter’s was the only name placed before the pre-selection committee. One other candidate is reported as saying that he had been “notified by the preselection committee that he would not be going further in the process”.
          Regina Christey, a former electorate secretary, in a letter in the paper on the same day, said the process was “disgusting”; with “not one meet-the-candidates meeting of party members, no confirmation of who sat on the selection panel, attempts to bully candidates into withdrawing, no open delegate selection.’

          THAT is what you mean by looking up the web about how Nationals selection works +

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Fisiani knows nothing about Candidate selections , as he/she has just outlined the pre selection process. ie How they whittle the list down to 5 choices

            The rules (2007) are shown here

            The actual candidate is chosen by a larger number of delegates
            see Rule 103b, which allows for one delegate for each 15 electorate members

            However , heres the cinch, to make up the numbers for 60 delegates, the regional party HQ can and does appoint the rest of the delegates.
            So for the local branch to have a majority they would have to have a minimum 450 financial members. This would only happen for perhaps half a dozen electorates in NZ.

            I would doubt if Botany has 150 financial members.

            On that basis the regional HQ appoints two thirds of the voting delegates

  4. Chris73 4

    You heard it hear first:

    If Maggie Barry gets the nomination then National WILL win the next election no ifs, buts or maybes and this is because she will take a fair share of the female party vote from Labour and the Greens and will also put a major dent into Winston Peters base as well

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Because women are so air-headed they will vote for a party with a media celebrity in it?

      • bbfloyd 4.1.1

        so how many ex television celebs, and political reporters is that in the nat camp now?

      • Chris73 4.1.2

        Because women will vote for an intelligent. successful woman like Maggie Barry, just like a lot of women voted for Labour because of Helen Clark

        • Rosy

          Chris73 – You’re assuming we don’t know or left from our right, our social supporters from our free-marketeers.

          • Chris73

            Everybody votes for different reasons:

            For instance there would still be a lot of people that would vote for Labour if Don Brash suddenly became leader (or National if Sue Bradford became leader) simply because they will always vote for that party irrespective of policies, in fact most wouldn’t even know the policies

            So I have no doubt that a heckva lotta women voted for Labour simply because Labour had a lot of high profile women.

            So if a successful, high profile, intelligent, respected and well spoken women stands for National why wouldn’t a certain amount of women (and men) vote for her (and National)

            • QoT

              Seriously, Chris? Women may very well have a greater general interest (largely as a result of wonderful patriarchal socialisation) in traditionally “domestic” or “feminine” political issues (paid parental leave, the environment, education and health).

              And women may very well prefer to vote for women or for parties with more senior women, if they have a specific, usually feminist (i.e. not exactly “mainstream”) perspective which predominates their political views.

              But the fucking idea that one once-ubiquitous garden-show presenter who now shills for hearing aids and hosts a radio show, standing in a fairly no-name conservative electorate, for a party with a documented history of being a rich white man’s party and whose frontline women include such talented go-getters as Anne Tolley, is going to have any kind of effect on “the women’s vote” is just fucking ludicrous.

              (Another point: Judith Collins, probably National’s strongest woman at the moment, is from a traditionally masculine profession and speaks on traditionally masculine issues. That may very well have an effect on some women’s votes, but they’re still going to be already centre/centre-right voters, not people who are miffed Sue Bradford’s retired.)

              • chris73

                Gee must have touched a raw nerve there, must be something to it huh 🙂

                • QoT

                  Sorry to disappoint, Chris, but I just always get pissed off when sexist little boys try to treat women like an alien hivemind. You are nothing special.

    • Carol 4.2

      Is Maggie Barry really that high a profile celeb or that exciting? She’s really only ever been on the edge of my radar. Sometimes she fills in on 9-to-noon, I think. I usually find her a bit bland and not very dynamic. I often switch off. I don’t know anything much else about her.

      So, she’s not going to be enticing this female voter away from the Greens.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        From memory she was Kim Hill’s predecessor on National Radio for many years. Not forgetting Aunt Daisy of course, Maggie was pretty much led the way for serious female radio journalists/hosts in this country and was well respected for it. And like me there will be plenty of older folk who know of her quite well. Actually from the Nat’s perspective she might well make an excellent candidate.

        Never make the mistake of underestimating your opponents.

    • QoT 4.3

      She’ll what? I hate to burst your bubble, Chris, but “the female party vote”, if such a creature exists, isn’t likely to swing on the basis of a single female MP.

      Now if they could get George Clooney elected to Botany …

      • Chris73 4.3.1

        I have to disagree with you on this but thats cool, we’ll just wait until the election and see who’s right

        • QoT

          … Um, how, precisely? Unless Curia runs some bizarre “Are you going to change your vote to National just because of Maggie Barry?” poll I have no idea how you think you’re going to “prove” you’re correct post-election.

          • chris73

            Well National winning and voter swing will be a pretty good indication of who’s right and who’s wrong

            • QoT

              HEAR YE, HEAR YE. If National win the election, Chris73 would like to let y’all know right now that it will ONLY be because of Maggie Barry, the Botany byelection, and women loving gardening shows. No other factors need apply because they can’t POSSIBLY be relevant.

  5. Josh 5

    The selection criteria for the Greens in a by election is that a 5 person panel choses the candidate, where 2 of the people are from the electorate, 1 from the province, and 2 appointed from the national executive. A ballot is held of all members in the electorate for their preferred candidate, and the results of that are provided to the panel, but these results just needed to be taken into consideration, rather than being binding.

    In a normal election however, the process is almost completely democratic, where first candidates are interviewed for suitability by two people from the province, whose purpose it is to sort out the crazies/people who would be embarrassing from others. After this, a local electorate will announce they are looking for candidates, and those who have passed the interview can chose whether they wish to contest that electorate. Then, the local electorate has complete choice over who they want their candidate, neither the province nor head office has any votes. The reason the interview stage is necessary is because quite a few electorates are uncontested, and if an unsuitable person was selected it could be quite bad.

    There are no restrictions on things like minimum amount of time required to be a member, etc.

    The real important thing for the Greens though isn’t electorate candidates, but the party list, and that is pretty much completely democratic, with all members voting on what they think the list should be.

  6. Blue 6

    Meanwhile Labour’s candidates for Botany show they’ve given up before they’ve even started.

    Yes it’s a safe National seat, but they could at least look like they’re interested.

  7. herodotus 7

    And we have Labs response
    I just hope that Lab give the same consideration to this group of voters as they did with Mana and Mt Albert, with support and fronting up of senior members to the area.
    And there is to be some policy release (with the followup small print), the real election may be about to start !! 😉

  8. ianmac 8

    As a side issue, what position do you think Pansy Wong will be appointed to later this year?

  9. Deadly_NZ 9

    “National prohibits the Five from talking to the media.” Got to brain wash them in the national Mantra first
    Shonky is god .
    Shonky can do no wrong.
    Shonky always gets first go at photo op.
    Never answer any question without at first Checking with Shonky.
    Shonky is God.

    Then they can sit all nicely brain washed and grinning like idiots behind the Shonky and Blinglish show, the next bunch of media cannon fodder, while the great tax swindle and bene bashing gets cranked up to max, and all the silver is sold off as well. After that happens??? Ireland looks like a good call, and the Little man got royally screwed over there.
    Have a read.

  10. You are slightly incorrect on Nationals selection process.

    There are allowed under the rules 1 delegate per 15 members. But if the membership of the electorate is small, like in McCully’s electorate at less than 200, then the board controls selection, if it is over 200 then delegates are appointed in the electorate until they run out or 60 is reached. If they run out because of a larger than 200 members but can only muster 31 delegates then there is a top up appointed by the Regional Chair alone.

    In Botany there were more than 200 members so a board selection wasn’t possible. But they can only muster 31 delegates and so 29 are appointed by Alan Towers the regional chair. Those appointed delegates are mostly Electorate Chairs, and Electorate secretaries from the region, that is elected by local electorates firstly then chosen by the regional chair.

    If the membership of Botany was sufficiently large, like say Judith Collins electorate membership then 100% of the delegates would have been local with zero appointments or “top-ups” from the region.

    Lazy MPs keep their membership low, strong MPs keep their membership high.

    Hope that clarifies it.

    • Puddleglum 11.1


      Which is why, if I remember correctly, the Helensville electorate (securely blue-ribboned through electorate changes) could only muster 42 or 43 delegates after some belated busyness on the part of an embattled incumbent. John Key’s central backing (Boag impressing her wishes on the Regional Chair?) would have secured the remaining 17 delegates, presumably. Add to that the number of local delegates who could be ‘brought’ to John Key’s side (14? 15? More?) and you have an electorate coup.

      A totally democratic coup, of course, that parachuted the untested Key into Parliament. Easier coup than in Clem Simich’s seat (not such a ‘lazy’ MP?), so I guess understandable that Helensville was targeted by Key and Central Command.

      Am I right, Whaleoil? (I ask you because, apparently, ‘what’s-his-name’ – who remembers him now? – still doesn’t want to talk about it.)

      Democracy is a wonderful thing. Especially when its arcane structures can allow it to be so easily swung into line with the wishes of a few.

  11. Botany has more than 200 members GWW…that is why there is a selection in progress, but they only have enough members for 31 delegates, necessitating top ups.

    Top ups selected by the Regional Chair does not mean as suggested they do what he wants, in fact the opposite occurs, if anyone is suggested as being the HO appointee then they usually go down hard. Delegates do not and will not like being told what to do.

    GWW makes it up with his numbers. There are the minimum number of 60 delegates for this selection and the local electorate is providing 31 of them, the top up is only of 29.

    As I said, if this was Papakura with a membership well in excess of 1000 then all the delegates would be from the local electorate with none from the region.

    Paula Bennett though and Murray McCully both have less than 200 members.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1

      That makes sense, Howick has a base of retired people, but the newer suburbs down to the motorway would have a dearth of people with the time to bother with a political party. Rural areas I would agree have a large membership because of tradition and National and farming go together. As well Hunua has the lifestyle blocks and is home to a significant portion of Aucklands high net worth people ( rich pricks).

  12. Irascible 13

    The membership of the Botany Branch of the National Party was 143 earlier this year and falling according to one of the Right wing blog sites. With the campaign around selection to replace Pansy (selected for her botanical name) there may have been some recruiting being done to boost voting numbers.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1

      Wasnt Pansy Wong a head office parachute candidate. She had no local connections having been a list candidate from Christchurch who moved to Auckland for political reasons, and previously stood in Auckland Central.

      So much nonsense about Nationals selection process. The democracy angle , when its more King of Tonga democracy, with a very large proportion of ‘selected’ delegates especially in urban seats.
      The Mt Albert bye election, where Melissa Lee was ‘selected’ candidate before the selection happened.
      The Selwyn ( or was it Rakaia) selection where the ‘final five’ were pushed out of the way by corrupt means by an existing MP.

      Do they think we are all stupid and dont know how it all really happens

  13. millsy 14

    If these right wingers have such a problem with unions then they should lobby their local MP to introduce a private member’s bill to outlaw them,

    Just a thought

    • Chris73 14.1

      Not a bad idea

      • millsy 14.1.1

        Ah, a right winger who is willing to put his money where his mouth is, and support a hypothetical bill to ban unions.

        Come on, the rest of you rightists, step up to the plate. Have a crack at writing a PMB yourself and then see if your local National/ACT MP would pick it up.

  14. RobertM 15

    Actually I think Tolley quite an impressive politician for a National Politician. And for a Nat theres no worse position than Minister of Education, because its always the end of your career. But supporting NCEAs effective ending at Grammar is a step forward which with luck will phase out NCEA over the next l5 years and confined the education of the bottom half to sex, deportment and cooking at secondary.
    Maggie Barry, I groaned surely she’s just about to draw a pension. We don’t need another politician like Christine Fletcher in National Politics,useful as she was over Britomart. Mothering politicians is the last thing NZ and Auckland needs.Who is this Jamie Lee Ross- sounds promising but I hear little of him in the NZ Herald and Radio LIve.

  15. Irascible 16

    Jamie Lee Ross is a little NACToid whose reputation in Manukau is closely tied with C&R & Quax as a Hide clone on sleaze campaigning.
    Great at magnifying small issues into huge mountains while ignoring the mountain in his own backyard, excellent at crying wolf when it was only a pekinese and not so great at contributing constructively to meeting discussions.
    In other words a typical Nactoid.
    I agree, Tolley, with Morris, will certainly work towards creating an education system geared to not challenging any one involved in it as long as they can cook, sew, hammer a nail, have good deportment and know another in the true biblical sense.

    • millsy 16.1

      See my comment in ‘open mike’ about this.

      2 tier education system here we come.

    • Chris73 16.2

      Or strive to achieve to the best of their abilities and make something of their lives (like John Key)

      • millsy 16.2.1

        Trouble is, the right’s approach is all that is like kicking the crutch from under a lame man to make him walk unaided.

        • Chris73

          Actually its more like kicking the crutch from under the able man to make him work unaided

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