The knives are out…as they should be

The National party, in the past, has been very effective at cutting out cancer. After the 2002 debacle the board moved very quickly to cut cancer out and Boag and English were knifed.

Now one of those fools is back meddling and it cost Auckland a centre-right council. Michelle Boag is a cancer in National. Maurice Williamson once described her as a boil that needed lancing. That has not changed.

The knives are out in the National Party after the centre-right’s disastrous result at last weekend’s local elections in Auckland.

Mayoral candidate Vic Crone trailed Labour Phil Goff from start to finish.

Goff’s name recognition and political experience were too much of a mountain to climb for Crone in 10 months. Having two other centre-right contenders, John Palino and Mark Thomas, confused voters and made matters worse.

The immediate post mortem is focused on National’s de facto ticket Auckland Future, which bombed horribly.

Auckland Future set out to create a citywide ticket and secure a majority of centre-right councillors on Auckland Council. It stood seven council candidates and endorsed media personality Bill Ralston in Waitemata and Gulf. It came away with one seat. Of the 25 candidates who stood for a Local Board, six were elected.

On the North Shore, where National holds every electorate seat, Auckland Future was taken to the cleaners by four centre-left, liberal candidates. From a base in Parnell, Auckland Future nobbled the sitting centre-right North Shore councillor George Wood, who could have won.

On election day, not a single National MP turned up at Crone’s function at the Cav tavern in Freemans Bay. Act leader David Seymour was the only MP in attendance. Seven National MPs, including junior cabinet ministers Maggie Barry, Paul Goldsmith and Nikki Kaye, were at her campaign launch.

No one likes a loser, and no one likes a trouncing. The knives should be out and National should be gutting Michelle Boag, Sue Wood, Peter Goodfellow, Jo de Joux, Joe Davis, Hamish Price and all the other numpties who created the farce that was called Auckland Future.

What went wrong? The finger is firmly pointed at Auckland Future, whose backers included National Party president Peter Goodfellow and former presidents Michelle Boag and Sue Wood, who was put in charge.

“Having big former personalities from the National Party coming in and bullying was a failure,” says one party source.

It was a bad choice putting Wood in charge, says another source. She had no experience of local politics and took a no prisoners approach. Things got personal. George Wood was treated badly and the ticket put up a candidate against Communities & Residents (C&R) in Albert-Eden-Roskill, the source said.

The last thing Sue Wood won was the drawing of the short straw to stand next to Muldoon as he announced the 1984 snap election. Peter Goodfellow has much to answer for. It was his decision to stab C&R, in conjunction with his Auckland office holders. A decision that proved stupid as C&R outperformed Auckland Future.

Wood and Boag were disappointed and surprised at the result, but largely laid the blame with incumbency rather than at their door.

They never do. That’s their problem. They never, ever take responsibility for their malign interactions and actions.

Says Wood: “We formed a new entity, Auckland Future, from ground zero. When I reflect on what we were able to achieve I’m very proud of the work our candidates did. Our board will be reviewing how we went about things. What we did right, what we can improve on and we are absolutely determined we will be around for the long haul.”

She says she would “definitely stay active with Auckland Future”, and has a strong sense of loyalty to the board, candidates and all the workers – “I don’t walk from that effort.”

She should walk, or be forced to walk. All Sue Wood achieved was getting the backs up of many people. Her doctrinaire, domineering and dictatorial approach was dreadful.

Boag’s take on the result was the huge power of incumbency and people’s anger at the council’s performance not being translated at the ballot box.

She said the centre-right would have learned a lot from this election and it was a shame C&R don’t recognise they now have a very limited footprint. Boag said discussions were needed between the two tickets about working together – a message that was echoed but unheeded during the campaign.

“I take my hat off to Sue Wood,” said Boag, “I think she did an amazing job in setting up the citywide structure and we have something to build off”.

Boag is a poisonous, lying scumbag. She was donkey deep in the machinations and made sure her little toad and acolyte Hamish Price was in the mix. It is astonishing he has managed to walk himself into a plumb beehive role after the Auckland Future debacle.

Sue Wood and Michelle Boag should be shunned. It is the least National should do, I can think of far more creative ways to ensure they have nothing more to do with the party.

?One National source says: “I suspect very few National Party people will want to get involved in Auckland Future again … it failed at the first hurdle.” Says another source: “It was trench warfare with C&R, and Auckland Future came off second best.”

They shat on their own people, and made others like Denise Krum (who has now changed her name to Denise Lee) turn their backs on their former mates. Good luck to her ever getting a nomination to stand for National. Her talk of standing in Pakuranga will come to nothing.

“Local government is about local. It’s about Auckland and you have to stick very firmly to that,” said Simpson, who has stuck with the C&R brand in her ward, despite being married to Goodfellow, one of the architects of Auckland Future.

Asked how that works, she said: “I am me. He is him.”

I imagine Peter got a right good kicking and whipping for his troubles.


– NZ Herald