web analytics

What the National Party president and board knew

Written By: - Date published: 6:40 am, June 26th, 2017 - 21 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, bill english, national - Tags: , , , , ,

Newsroom has published another piece of investigative journalism by Melanie Reid on the Barclay affair, this time looking at what the National Party president and board knew.

The National Party President Peter Goodfellow and the board allowed Todd Barclay to be selected as a candidate for the upcoming election despite knowing that he was clearly unsuitable to be an MP.

Very detailed written accounts of the now disgraced MP’s behaviour had been provided to the board and the candidate selection committee before they allowed his nomination to go forward.

The board and the select committee knew:

– Barclay had already broken National Party rules by releasing the name of a challenging candidate.
– Had breached the rules by speaking to the media between the close of nomination and the close of the pre-selection process.
– Had spoken to his electoral office staff about employment matters that breached a confidentiality agreement.
– That Barclay didn’t declare that police had asked him to be interviewed over the taping of conversations of staffer Glenys Dickson on his candidate nomination form.
– Had got staff in his Gore electorate office to canvass delegates to support his reselection when it was outside their contractual obligations and a misuse of taxpayer money.
– There were issues around a $5000 loan that Barclay had been given by the party for campaigning. At this point the loan had not been repaid or disclosed in the campaign donation register.

The information was contained in a letter handed to National Party President Peter Goodfellow at 10.45 am at the pre-selection meeting in the Balclutha sports complex on December 9, 2016.

National Party sources say they saw Goodfellow open the letter, read it and then put it in his jacket pocket.

The letter warned that if the media learned more about what Barclay had been up to it would prove very embarrassing for the National Party and particularly Bill English who knew about the unlawful recording of conversations. The letter also said that Barclay had tried to denigrate English for his own means but didn’t say how.

Worried that the board was doing nothing, National Party members from Gore sent further letters to Goodfellow and the board on December 21, 2016, January 24, 2017, January 30, 2017.

The article then looks at the last ten months and what happened in the Clutha Southland electorate during the candidate selection process. Local National Party members and office holders tried to get the issues addressed but were repeatedly ignored. Clutha-Southland electorate chairman Stuart Davie eventually resigned because he didn’t want to be involved in a cover-up.

Prior to this, in February 2016, former Clutha-Southland electorate chairman Stuart Davie had spoken at length to the Southern Regional chair Rachel Bird and National Party board member Kate Hazlett.

Davie was confident Barclay had acted illegally because the former local MP, Bill English, who was then Deputy Prime Minister texted him on February 21, 2016 saying:

He left a dictaphone running that picked up all conversations in the office Just the office end of phone conversations. The settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach.

Stuart Davie did deal with it as he should have. As well as going to the regional chairperson he turned to the Southern electorate National Party Board member Kate Hazlett.

Hazlett responded by telling him “he should not stand again for the electorate chair as he clearly didn’t support Todd”.

Davie told Newsroom that he resigned a few days after this conversation because he knew Barclay was lying when he denied the secret recordings and he didn’t want to be part of any cover-up.

Full details in the article including the involvement of board member Glenda Hughes.

More good work by Melanie Reid and Newsroom. I’m impressed by Davie in addition to Dickson, as well as the other locals who decided to do the right thing. It takes courage to stand up like that in a small conservative community, and both Davie and Dickson have talked about the abuse and harassment that followed as well as the pressure that was applied from seniors within the organisation.

We’re not looking at not just the mistakes of one MP. The seriousness of the lying and covering up by the Prime Minister is now complemented by a level of corruption throughout the party hierarchy. None of this is particularly surprising given National’s involvement in Dirty Politics, but it’s still shocking to the many of us who believe that the government of NZ should be honest, law-abiding and competent.

One thing that remains unexplained is why the National Party would take such risks over a junior and relatively new MP. Perhaps it was hubris and complacency after 8 years of getting away with the abuse of power, or perhaps there are still things we don’t know about what was so important about Todd Barclay.

It’s time to change the government, and as Gareth Hughes said in parliament last week, it’s time to clean up the government as well.

21 comments on “What the National Party president and board knew ”

  1. garibaldi 1

    Strange that it should be this that is the gift that keeps on giving after all the transgressions in shonkeys time. Having said that, it is a delight to see the Natz unwinding at long last. Well done Melanie.

  2. Keith 2

    I think to get rid of Barclay after a plethora of other Nats who either left “voluntarily ” or been shown the door, would have been just too much to bear at that time.

    But I suspect the real reason connects nicely with his former life as a tobacco lobbyist. Like others of that ilk in their Dirty Politics department, from that particularly seedy, hard right of the National Party, I have to wonder if other forces were at work that kept this poisonous little creep there, inside what appears to be deep divisions with the Nats.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1

      The USA is a classic example of what politics is like when corporate donations have converted politicians into lobbyists for their “previous” and often also future employers. We must make sure Aotearoa does not go down that path any further.

  3. Barklay was a big investment for the National Party, imo. He was being tutored by Lusk et al, supported by English and Key and the rest of that crew. Barclay was to be Prime Minister when the time came and much resource had already been invested, hence the inability to act swiftly enough to cauterize the wound he made with his behaviour. This “loss” is far greater than we are yet picking – not just a lowly backbencher at all – interesting to see how long-term National’s succession planning has become. Watch yer babies!

    • weka 3.1

      That makes a lot of sense. People are saying youth has nothing to do with it, but if you compare Barclay to others of his ilk (neoliberal RWers), I think his inexperience combined with the arrogance/entitlement is a factor. I can imagine Key being like that when he was in his 20s but he never got caught or was in different situations where it didn’t matter, and there is no way he would make those mistakes now.

      Also millennial culture and that arrogance are probably a really bad mix. BE at least remembers what old school conservatism is. There’s a point in the original interview with Dickson where I went ‘that’s the point where she decided to stand up’. You just don’t treat your own people like that, and the old school people know that.

      • Gristle 3.1.1

        Inexperience should not be used as an excuse for Todd. To work in PR for any tobacco company shows that he was willing support the death and injury that smoking causes.

        Todd is Todd’s focus: Everybody else can go screw themself.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I’m not excusing him, I’m pointing to contributory factors. I know that I made mistakes in my 20s that I wouldn’t make now, because I’ve had more experience and time to figure shit out. I make different mistakes now, lol. Someone has pointed out that part of the issue for Barclay was that he was given too much power without enough supervision and mentoring. That seems fair. Again it’s not an excuse (the lot of them deserve everything they get), it’s just an observation about the dynamics.

    • greywarshark 3.2

      Mothers look out for Rumpelstiltskin National, he promises a lot, you just have to sell him your soul and your babies and he will take you all to another place, away from the ordinary throng.

    • Ross 3.3

      I dont agree, Robert. I suspect that National thought and still think that Barclay is a loose cannon and possibly has info on other Nat MPs including Key that would be very embarrassing for National if Barclay decided to sing like a canary. He may have threatened such disclosure. I imagine some Nats are holding their breath that he doesnt squeal.(I think in Reid’s latest article there is a reference to Barclay having a big mouth.)

      • Ross 3.3.1

        Correction the article reports on Barclay allegedly denigrating English which, if true, would be a worry for senior Nats. Is Barclay going to go quietly? I expect he has a cushy job lined up as long as he keeps his trap shut.

  4. ianmac 4

    “They” will say that all selection/branch committees have a few disagreements and spats but that is Democracy. We in National are no different from the goings on in Labour or the Greens.
    Well done Melanie Reid.

  5. gsays 5

    Excellent journalism, well done Melanie Reid.
    Thanks weka or the synopsis. I agree with you about the integrity and courage shown by Glenys Dickson and Stuart Davie.

    The source for this is well placed.

    There are so many damaging tangents:
    Police ’10 month investigation’ being reopened with no new information,
    Glenda Hughes bullying,
    dodgy candidate selection ‘stacking’,
    PM allowing junior MP to lie like a flat fish for over a year,
    There are tapes, there might not be tapes, I was offered to hear tapes,
    The top of the national party board being aware of the whole affair…

  6. Bearded Git 6

    I’m into my tenth bag of popcorn……

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    And meanwhile ol’ Teflon Jon is once again sliding out of this debacle – why isn’t he being flushed out and questioned – wasn’t he the one who signed off the money out of the sludge fund to silence the disgruntled employee in the Gore office.

  8. Is the Barclay affair the reason Key departed – very likely.

    • tc 8.1

      One of many that if journalism was applied wouldn’t be great look for national.

      Imagine if they’d pursued lusk/eade etc after DP was released or did some digging on SCF, ian fletchers appointment, law changes which add up to tax havens, warner bros, blind trusts etc etc.

      newsroom comes from weldons destruction of mediawonks dwindling journalistic capability so the karma is strong.

  9. Heather Grimwood 9

    2014 ‘meet the candidates’ meetings clearly showed who/what Todd Barclay was.
    Undoubtedly those in the Catlins assessed well. Some others were sadly not well attended.
    I suggest voters should return to the earlier practice of attending such opportunities.

  10. mosa 10

    Melanie Reid has restored my faith in journalism and Nicky Hagar off course.

    Mr key bailed at ” the right time ” there is probably a lot more at work here ……….. a hell of a lot more !

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Prime Minister congratulates Anthony Albanese
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on winning the Australian Federal election, and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison. "I spoke to Anthony Albanese early this morning as he was preparing to address his supporters. It was a warm conversation and I’m ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Aroha Reriti-Crofts DNZM CBE JP
    Tiwhatiwha te pō, tiwhatiwha te ao. Tiwhatiwha te pō, tiwhatiwha te ao. Matariki Tapuapua, He roimata ua, he roimata tangata. He roimata e wairurutu nei, e wairurutu nei. Te Māreikura mārohirohi o Ihoa o ngā Mano, takoto Te ringa mākohakoha o Rongo, takoto. Te mātauranga o Tūāhuriri o Ngai Tahu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boost for tourism networks as borders open
    Three core networks within the tourism sector are receiving new investment to gear up for the return of international tourists and business travellers, as the country fully reconnects to the world. “Our wider tourism sector is on the way to recovery. As visitor numbers scale up, our established tourism networks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government support for Levin community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to help the Levin community following this morning’s tornado, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by severe weather events in Levin and across the country. “I know the tornado has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Quintet of Attorneys General in support of Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova a...
    The Quintet of Attorneys General have issued the following statement of support for the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and investigations and prosecutions for crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “The Attorneys General of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand join in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Andrew Little Budget 2022 post-Budget health speech, Auckland, 20 May 2022
    Morena tatou katoa. Kua tae mai i runga i te kaupapa o te rā. Thank you all for being here today. Yesterday my colleague, the Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, delivered the Wellbeing Budget 2022 – for a secure future for New Zealand. I’m the Minister of Health, and this was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt helps supermarket shoppers get a fair deal
    Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The Commerce (Grocery Sector Covenants) Amendment Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986, banning restrictive covenants on land, and exclusive covenants ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister: Wellbeing Budget 2022 speech
    It is a pleasure to speak to this Budget. The 5th we have had the privilege of delivering, and in no less extraordinary circumstances.  Mr Speaker, the business and cycle of Government is, in some ways, no different to life itself. Navigating difficult times, while also making necessary progress. Dealing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Future resource management system implementation funding
    Budget 2022 provides funding to implement the new resource management system, building on progress made since the reform was announced just over a year ago. The inadequate funding for the implementation of the Resource Management Act in 1992 almost guaranteed its failure. There was a lack of national direction about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for quality public media
    The Government is substantially increasing the amount of funding for public media to ensure New Zealanders can continue to access quality local content and trusted news. “Our decision to create a new independent and future-focused public media entity is about achieving this objective, and we will support it with a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding boost secures Defence capabilities
    $662.5 million to maintain existing defence capabilities NZDF lower-paid staff will receive a salary increase to help meet cost-of living pressures. Budget 2022 sees significant resources made available for the Defence Force to maintain existing defence capabilities as it looks to the future delivery of these new investments. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Budget 2022 supports resilient and sustainable cultural sector
    More than $185 million to help build a resilient cultural sector as it continues to adapt to the challenges coming out of COVID-19. Support cultural sector agencies to continue to offer their important services to New Zealanders. Strengthen support for Māori arts, culture and heritage. The Government is investing in a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Finance: Wellbeing Budget 2022 Speech
    It is my great pleasure to present New Zealand’s fourth Wellbeing Budget. In each of this Government’s three previous Wellbeing Budgets we have not only considered the performance of our economy and finances, but also the wellbeing of our people, the health of our environment and the strength of our communities. In Budget ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellbeing Budget 2022 Speech
    It is my great pleasure to present New Zealand’s fourth Wellbeing Budget. In each of this Government’s three previous Wellbeing Budgets we have not only considered the performance of our economy and finances, but also the wellbeing of our people, the health of our environment and the strength of our communities. In Budget ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Coronial delays addressed by Budget 2022
    Four new permanent Coroners to be appointed Seven Coronial Registrar roles and four Clinical Advisor roles are planned to ease workload pressures Budget 2022 delivers a package of investment to improve the coronial system and reduce delays for grieving families and whānau. “Operating funding of $28.5 million over four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Paving the way for better outcomes for disabled people
    Establishment of Ministry for Disabled People Progressing the rollout of the Enabling Good Lives approach to Disability Support Services to provide self-determination for disabled people Extra funding for disability support services “Budget 2022 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to deliver change for the disability community with the establishment of a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investing in education so all Kiwis can succeed
    Fairer Equity Funding system to replace school deciles The largest step yet towards Pay Parity in early learning Local support for schools to improve teaching and learning A unified funding system to underpin the Reform of Vocational Education Boost for schools and early learning centres to help with cost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Primary sector backed to grow and innovate
    $118.4 million for advisory services to support farmers, foresters, growers and whenua Māori owners to accelerate sustainable land use changes and lift productivity  $40 million to help transformation in the forestry, wood processing, food and beverage and fisheries sectors  $31.6 million to help maintain and lift animal welfare practices across Aotearoa New Zealand A total food and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More support for first home buyers and renters
    House price caps for First Home Grants increased in many parts of the country House price caps for First Home Loans removed entirely Kāinga Whenua Loan cap will also be increased from $200,000 to $500,000 The Affordable Housing Fund to initially provide support for not-for-profit rental providers Significant additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Budget lifts up to 14,000 children out of poverty
    Child Support rules to be reformed lifting an estimated 6,000 to 14,000 children out of poverty Support for immediate and essential dental care lifted from $300 to $1,000 per year Increased income levels for hardship assistance to extend eligibility Budget 2022 takes further action to reduce child poverty and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A booster for RNA research and development
    More support for RNA research through to pilot manufacturing RNA technology platform to be created to facilitate engagement between research and industry partners Researchers and businesses working in the rapidly developing field of RNA technology will benefit from a new research and development platform, funded in Budget 2022. “RNA ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Unleashing business potential across NZ
    A new Business Growth Fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow Fully funding the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund to unleash regional economic development opportunities Tourism Innovation Programme to promote sustainable recovery Eight Industry Transformation Plans progressed to work with industries, workers and iwi to transition ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Securing the wellbeing of Pacific communities
    Budget 2022 further strengthens the economic foundations and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. “The priorities we set for Budget 2022 will support the continued delivery of our commitments for Pacific peoples through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, a 2020 manifesto commitment for Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers timely support for whānau
    Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives. More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education  Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers critical infrastructure
    New hospital funding for Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton 280 more classrooms over 40 schools, and money for new kura $349 million for more rolling stock and rail network investment The completion of feasibility studies for a Northland dry dock and a new port in the Manukau Harbour Increased infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A health system that takes care of Māori
    $168 million to the Māori Health Authority for direct commissioning of services $20.1 million to support Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards $30 million to support Māori primary and community care providers $39 million for Māori health workforce development Budget 2022 invests in resetting our health system and gives economic security in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investing in better health services
    Biggest-ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget Provision for 61 new emergency vehicles including 48 ambulances, along with 248 more paramedics and other frontline staff New emergency helicopter and crew, and replacement of some older choppers $100 million investment in specialist mental health and addiction services 195,000 primary and intermediate aged ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A Secure Future for New Zealanders’ health
    Landmark reform: new multi-year budgets for better planning and more consistent health services Record ongoing annual funding boost for Health NZ to meet cost pressures and start with a clean slate as it replaces fragmented DHB system ($1.8 billion year one, as well as additional $1.3 billion in year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cost of living package eases impact on households – 2.1 million Kiwis to get new targeted payment
    Fuel Excise Duty and Road User Charges cut to be extended for two months Half price public transport extended for a further two months New temporary cost of living payment for people earning up to $70,000 who are not eligible to receive the Winter Energy Payment Estimated 2.1 million New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Budget highlights underlying strength of economy in face of global headwinds
    A return to surplus in 2024/2025 Unemployment rate projected to remain at record lows Net debt forecast to peak at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2024, lower than Australia, US, UK and Canada Economic growth to hit 4.2 percent in 2023 and average 2.1 percent over the forecast period A ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Budget 2022: A secure future in difficult times
    Cost of living payment to cushion impact of inflation for 2.1 million Kiwis Record health investment including biggest ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget First allocations from Climate Emergency Response Fund contribute to achieving the goals in the first Emissions Reduction Plan Government actions deliver one of the strongest ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Budget 2022: A secure future
    Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures. Our economy has come through the COVID-19 shock better than almost anywhere else in the world, but other challenges, both long-term and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health Minister to attend World Health Assembly in Geneva
    Health Minister Andrew Little will represent New Zealand at the first in-person World Health Assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday 22 – Wednesday 25 May (New Zealand time). “COVID-19 has affected people all around the world, and health continues to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New efforts to counter illegal timber trade
    New Zealand is committing to trade only in legally harvested timber with the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today. Under the Bill, timber harvested in New Zealand and overseas, and used in products made here or imported, will have to be verified as being legally harvested. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deaths in New Zealand lower than expected so far during the pandemic
    The Government has welcomed the release today of StatsNZ data showing the rate at which New Zealanders died from all causes during the COVID-19 pandemic has been lower than expected. The new StatsNZ figures provide a measure of the overall rate of deaths in New Zealand during the pandemic compared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law helps secure New Zealand’s maritime domain
    Legislation that will help prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including trafficking of humans, drugs, wildlife and arms, has passed its third reading in Parliament today, Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Today is a milestone in allowing us to respond to the increasingly dynamic and complex maritime security environment facing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Trade and Export Growth Minister to travel to Bangkok for APEC
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is set to travel to Thailand this week to represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok. “I’m very much looking forward to meeting my trade counterparts at APEC 2022 and building on the achievements we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes historic pay-equity deal
    Settlement of the first pay-equity agreement in the health sector is hugely significant, delivering pay rises of thousands of dollars for many hospital administration and clerical workers, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “There is no place in 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand for 1950s attitudes to work predominantly carried out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new ICU space at Christchurch Hospital
    Health Minister Andrew Little opened a new intensive care space for up to 12 ICU-capable beds at Christchurch Hospital today, funded from the Government’s Rapid Hospital Improvement Programme. “I’m pleased to help mark this milestone. This new space will provide additional critical care support for the people of Canterbury and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps for specialist mental health and addiction services
    Budget 2022 will continue to deliver on Labour’s commitment to better services and support for mental wellbeing. The upcoming Budget will include a $100-million investment over four years for a specialist mental health and addiction package, including: $27m for community-based crisis services that will deliver a variety of intensive supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago