Key denies Gardiners claim

Tracy Watkins has picked up on Wira Gardiners claim that he has the Prime Minister’s endorsement for the board and president role in the National party.

Prime Minister John Key has been dragged into a row over the National Party presidency as the battle erupts into an old-fashioned political stoush.

Former National Party Maori vice-president Wira Gardiner has been publicly touted by some of his supporters as Mr Key’s hand-picked candidate – a claim Mr Key denied yesterday.

Mr Gardiner said yesterday he “regretted” that Mr Key had been drawn into the contest and said there had been no communication between him and Mr Key.

Regretted? Really Wira? I have been told first hand by many delegates that not only you but also your main promoters have run that line directly to them. In fact they directly contradict your line that there has been no communication between you and John Key.

The word has it that when you told John Key, when you weren’t “communicating” with him, that you were standing, he said “Good Luck”, that’s it. No endorsement, no support, just good luck. You and your supporters have been caught spinning your lines but have forgotten that these days there are blogs, a sure sign that your campaign is rooted deeply in the past.

But Mr Gardiner’s style appears to be ruffling more than Mr Key’s feathers – a private email between him and a group of National MPs was leaked to a Right-wing blog. In it, Mr Gardiner takes issue with MPs for pulling out of a private meeting with him to hear his pitch for the National Party board. “How would you as candidates have fared if voters had given you this response?”

That’d be this blog, thanks for the acknowledgement Tracy…no drinks for you next Friday night.

The overhaul was designed to put a stop to the presidency overshadowing the party’s parliamentary wing. But Mr Gardiner’s bid for a board place appears to be reviving some of the old spirit.

Mr Gardiner, whose wife Hekia Parata is a sitting MP, said it had been a “robust” campaign so far. He and Ms Parata had a public falling out with National during former leader Don Brash’s tenure.

Heh….wonder where they got that information from. Nice to see Tracy Watkins actually got all the detail right, but then she would have, she pretty much lifted it all from this blog. The sad fact is that Wira Gardiner is a candidate with little toreccommend him to delegates except for the backing of some of the worst presidents this party has seen, old dinosaurs stuck in the old ways.