The growing race for Botany

January 11th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

UPDATE2: And now Maggie Barry has confirmed she is seeking the nomination. If she gets a waiver for length of membership, then I would assume she will be one of the final five.

UPDATE: I’ve heard from two sources that broadcaster Maggie Barry may soon announce she will seek the nomination, if she can gain a board waiver for not being a member long enough.

Belinda McCammon in the SST reports on the latest in the race:

With days to go before nominations close, 12 people are vying for National’s nomination in Botany – including former Labour Party member Daniel Newman.

The 34-year-old Property Council policy director and Auckland Council local board member said he was approached by a number of National Party members to stand.

Newman, who once shared close ties with Manurewa MP George Hawkins, said he had been a National Party member for four years and had been active in Judith Collins’ Papakura seat.

So who are those seeking the nomination:

  1. Aaron Bhatnagar, former Auckland City Councillor, an electorate chair
  2. Jami-Lee Ross, current Auckland Councillor, co-leader of C&R
  3. Denise Krum, was No 3 on United Future list in 2008, a party regional deputy chair
  4. Ram Rai, restaurant owner, an electorate chair
  5. Darron Gedge, regional policy chair, teacher at Elim Chris­t­ian Col­lege
  6. Youngshin Watkins – no 69 on 2008 party list
  7. Ken Yee, former Manukau City Councillor, former candidate
  8. Daniel Newman, Chair of Manurewa Local Board
  9. Michael Williams, current Howick Board Chair

I’m not sure who the other three are.

Nominations close in a few days. After that nominations have to be approved by the National Board. One has to have some seriously nasty skeletons in your closet not to be approved.

Then the next step will be pre-selection. A nine person committee interviews all the candidates, and whittles the field down to a maximum of five.

I would be astonished if Aaron Bhatnagar, Jami-Lee Ross and Denise Krum are not three of those five. All are good people, who would be good MPs.

I think it is also highly likely Darron Gedge would make the final five.

So to some degree, the main focus may be on who gets the fifth slot.

Once pre-selection has occured, the names are officially released and they start the meet the candidates meetings.

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30 Responses to “The growing race for Botany”

  1. muncha1 (20 comments) says:

    Interested on your opinion on whether Melissa Lee would be a good candidate? Botany with its high asian population.

    Bu then she stuffed Mt Albert up so badly, so that’d be a huge turnoff.

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  2. Manolo (13,580 comments) says:

    Melissa Lee?
    Are you crazy? Do you want Labour-lite lose Botany altogether? :-)

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  3. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Jami-Lee Ross, current Auckland Councillor, co-leader of C&R

    So will he be resigning as an Auckland Councillor then, or is he trying to pull an Anderton and do two jobs at once?

    [DPF: My understanding is that if Jami-Lee gains the nominat]ion, and is then elected to Parliament, he would resign as a member of the Council

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  4. tvb (4,364 comments) says:

    By-elections are different. Local issues take centre stage so the candidate selected HAS to have strong local ties. That was the lesson earned from the Mana by-election. And that does not mean I was born there years ago and we were at the opening of the first McDonalds etc etc. Out of the above list i do not know who has the strongest ties but I think Jami Lee-Ross might be the one.

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  5. James Stephenson (2,153 comments) says:

    Given that Jami-Lee is councillor for the area at the moment, he looks the logical choice. In which case, what we need to know is: Will the Whale run for council to replace him?

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  6. Shazzadude (526 comments) says:

    I’d say Dick Quax would be the heavy favourite to take Ross’ vacant spot.

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  7. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    [DPF: My understanding is that if Jami-Lee gains the nomination, and is then elected to Parliament, he would resign as a member of the Council]

    I had read a quote from Ross advising that he would resign from council if he won the nomination.

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  8. Chris Diack (740 comments) says:

    tvb has it wrong. In Mana both the Labour and National candidates were not locals. The ACT candidate certainly was and perhaps the Green one.

    At any rate its difficult to see that anyone of these Botany prospective candidates have a particular ‘long tail’ in Bontany. Its a relatively new seat as it was created by rapidly ongoing increase in population in South East Auckland so its boundaries are likely to significantly change again after 2012 again.

    One cannot generalise about By-Elections each one is dependent on the particular situation.

    I honestly cannot recall when the last by election was determined by local issues probably have to go back prior to MMP (but even then one would be pushing it)

    By Elections in a seat vacated by an MP of the major party in Government tend to be a referendum on the Govt. Thus National will likely favour someone who can communicate clealy its position, has campaign skill including finding money and make a future contribution to a National Caucus.

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  9. Manolo (13,580 comments) says:

    Thus National will likely favour someone who can communicate clealy its position, has campaign skill including finding money and make a future contribution to a National Caucus.

    That person can only be DPF!

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  10. GAZMAN (21 comments) says:

    In reply to Graeme Edgeler “I had read a quote from Ross advising that he would resign from council if he won the nomination”

    The actual comment from Jami-Lee in his press statement is as follows: If successful in winning the National Party selection and the Botany by-election, Mr Ross will step down as a member of the Auckland Council. “It would not be possible to do justice to both jobs, especially with the expanded role for new Auckland councillors.

    So Mr Ross is stating that if he is the nominee and he wins the seat, he will then resign as a councillor. A good decision!

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  11. georgebolwing (794 comments) says:

    An interesting question is whether Labour should run a candidate.

    I would argue that it can’t possibly “win” this bi election, in the sense that National “won” Mana. They can only be beaten (same National majority as at the last election), beaten badly (National picks up all of ACT’s votes from last time) or annihilated (Labour vote collapses to below 15%). I think that short of resurrecting David Lange, the best that Labour can hope for is to be beaten badly.

    If I were Phil Goff and Andrew Little, facing the prospect of having to try and explain why National getting 77% of the vote does actually does represent a swing to Labour, I would be tempted to say that Labour has more important things to do than campaign in safe National seats and move quickly on.

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  12. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    Ross just recently offered himself for a three year contract with voters, therefore I don’t think he should discard his responsibilities just because he thinks there could be a better plum on offer.

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  13. GPT1 (2,118 comments) says:

    A question, is there any reason why Maggie Barry has not been a member for the requisite period of time? My view is that waivers are there for those who genuinely could not be members – ala Don Brash – so I am interested as to why Maggie Barry has only just popped up now.

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  14. peterwn (3,243 comments) says:

    As Whale pointed out on 14 December with respect to Botany prospects, Aaron Bhatnagar is “Prone to inept silly pranks”, and one of these pranks was allegedly continually defacing a political enemy’s Wikipedia entry with slanted and biased information. The ‘journal’ of changes to the Wikipedia entry in that period is a mile long. This is arguably more than just a ‘prank’ and would probably leave Aaron with a very serious vulnerability if elected to Parliament.

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  15. Boss Hogg (9 comments) says:

    She might not officially have been a member, but Maggie’s National Party credentials have been plain to “see” during her time with Radio Live.

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  16. Shazzadude (526 comments) says:

    “An interesting question is whether Labour should run a candidate.

    I would argue that it can’t possibly “win” this bi election, in the sense that National “won” Mana. They can only be beaten (same National majority as at the last election), beaten badly (National picks up all of ACT’s votes from last time) or annihilated (Labour vote collapses to below 15%). I think that short of resurrecting David Lange, the best that Labour can hope for is to be beaten badly.”

    I think Labour could get a “win” if they go with Raymond Huo. It seems Ross is going to getthe nod for National, so that could give Huo a chance to try and capitalise on the significant Mandarin-speaking population in the electorate and try and reduce the margin (which was over 10,000at the last election). With the lower turnouts at by-elections also assisting, a margin defeat of 5000 could be spun by a Labour as a victory (“we slashed the margin in half in Botany!), and Key would not be able to argue the effects of turnouts in a by-election, given he ignored this point in the Mana by-election.

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  17. Shazzadude (526 comments) says:

    “I honestly cannot recall when the last by election was determined by local issues probably have to go back prior to MMP (but even then one would be pushing it)”

    You could argue that the Mt. Albert by-election was over the motorway issue, National might have had a chance to make it a marginal contest had 1) that not been a pressing issue and 2) had Melissa Lee not continued shooting herself in the foot repeatedly.

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  18. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    :D

    As a local resident to the greater Counties Manukau district (which includes several electorates) my money is on Daniel Newman for the nomination.

    Daniel has served the community for many years, and has strong links to the local Catholic community. He’s also well-recognised as a community leader with a track-record of no-nonsense leadership. Jamie-Lee Ross is too young to compete on experience alone, and has no ties to the traditional backbone of local conservatism. He is not a professional by any qualification apart from politics.

    National would be better off investing in Daniel Newman.

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  19. tvb (4,364 comments) says:

    Maggie Barrie has announced she is interested. She will be hard to beat surely. Those little old ladies and men just love her. Maybe someone as high profile as her could overcome any “local issues”

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  20. tvb (4,364 comments) says:

    PS watch out for Winston Peters, Howick is his old stamping ground.

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  21. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Maggie Barrie describes herself as a ‘blue-green’ (quoted by herself). Her interests are predominantly environmental and this could scare traditional ‘blue’ voters. She also has a history of journalism which is hardly ‘conservative’ to the core. Radio NZ was always a bore in my opinion.

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  22. thedavincimode (6,710 comments) says:

    Maggie would better serve the nation’s interests by going back to Morning Report and snotting the tragic weasely little pinko Geoff Whatthefuck.

    On the other hand, a nice little vege garden out front at the Beehive would certainly cement our PG image. She could also get the Prof involved.

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  23. s.russell (1,619 comments) says:

    Sorry, thedavincimode,
    Thomas William Walker, known as “The Prof” died about six weeks ago.

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  24. Radman (143 comments) says:

    Barry has not been a member; describes herself as Blue/Green and predominantly an environmentalist and DPF believes she will get in the last 5!!

    Please NO! Choose a National Party person who knows the National Party, can fundraise and knows about government – which is what the MP will be in this time, and by the end of the year.

    Choose Aaron Bhatnagar!!

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  25. s.russell (1,619 comments) says:

    I think it fair enought that Barry be let off from the membership requirement: it would have compromised her role as a journalist to be a party member.

    But Radman is right about this: Barry should not be chosen just because she is a celebrity. She has a great skillset in terms of presentational ability, and I would expect her to be pretty knowledgeble about public issues too. But there is a little more to the jop than that, and that should be tested along with others. Maybe she is the right person and maybe not.

    The striking thing is how many candidates of notable ability are stepping forward. Professional people who have strong careers and great prospects out of national politics are inspired to step forward and say “Hey! I want to be part of this Government.” That’s a great vote of confidence, and it’s great for National that there is such hot competition: it means NZ gets better MPs.

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  26. iMP (2,364 comments) says:

    Denise Krum is the daughter of Hon. Graeme lee, who started Christian democrats and was Min of Internal Affairs under Bolger.

    Not right if Barry gets a waiver on membership, although what better seat than “Botany” for her? This kind of celebrity ‘picking winners’ makes a mockery of party membership, already denuded to nothing under MMP, and is a slight to all those hard working party members who’ve come up the ranks and paid their ‘hard yards.’ the latter make the best MPs (Brownlee, L. Smith, N. Smith, Ryall, et al); celebrity endorsements plays in to the cult of personality and profile. Just because you’re been on TV doesn’t mean you’re good at everything/anything. I hate celebrity politics; we need substance and depth in NZ with the issues we’re facing, not superficial screen presence.

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  27. iMP (2,364 comments) says:

    The Selwyn re-selection a while back was perhaps the most robust selection ever run. M Barry will be challengeable if she wins. She’s already broken one constitutional rule: not to seek or endorse publicity prior to selection (its totally unfair to the other nominees). Her first act was to go on TV talking about her un-selected candidacy. That’s challengeable from the get go. Added to her non-membership, I think the Board could have problems if they green light her.

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  28. thedavincimode (6,710 comments) says:

    That is sad. I liked the Prof.

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  29. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    I look forward to Maggie Barry winning selection as the National candidate for the Botany by-election, and debating the issues with her.

    (Of course being a member of the National Party, Maggie will have to ‘toe the party line’, and support, for example, ‘user-charges’ for waste water, which will help make gardening unaffordable for many on lower incomes (as it did in Auckland City under Metrowater and in Papakura under United Water).

    I’m standing as an ‘Independent’ on a very transparent ‘anti-corruption’ platform, and intend to hold at least three politically explosive public meetings on ‘conflicts of interest’ and corruption in local government; central government and within the judiciary.

    Given the interest already expressed by Botany voters with whom I have already been talking – these public meetings should be well-attended.

    Those who think that as an ‘Independent’ that I haven’t got a chance, may care to reflect on the fact that ‘Independent’ Auckland Councillor Sharon Stewart, was the highest polling candidate from that area, with over 24,000 votes, beating Jami-Lee Ross by over 4,000 votes, despite his theoretical advantage of being part of two electoral ‘machines’ – Citizens and Ratepayers and the National Party.

    (Well – perhaps it was the one and the same electoral machine? :)

    The track record of media celebrities in the House in recent years is not particularly ‘stellar’ to borrow the word used by Cameron Slater?

    Once one becomes a party ‘hack’, following the ‘party line’ – presumably the last quality that is really wanted by the party hierarchy is an intelligent, independent, questioning mind?

    If that is the case – what real use is the former broadcasting/ journalistic background apart from mere name recognition?

    Very keen to know where Maggie Barry / National stand on the underpinning problem of the behaviour and conduct of NZ MPs (Pansy Wong, Richard Worth. John Key, Chris Carter, Shane Jones …etc)

    Who supports the ‘systems solution’ in the form of a ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs with clear guidelines and sanctions for breaches thereof?

    Why on earth does NZ – ‘perceived’ by Transparency International to be the least corrupt country in the world (along with Denmark and Singapore) according to their ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – not already have a ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs – who make the rules for everyone else?

    What sort of example is THAT?

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.

    “Anti-corruption campaigner”.
    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009.
    Attendee: Transparency International 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference 2010
    Auckland Mayoral Candidate 2010

    Candidate for the Botany by-election 2011

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  30. Deane Jessep (67 comments) says:

    Fale, can I ask by what knowledge of Jamie-Lee you made the two assertions above?

    I only know him from distant and passing occasions but I can absolutely assure you that while I was attending conferences and events as an electorate deputy chair, a substantial number of what I would call very traditional conservative members could not stop raving about him, from his regular activities in the party since and his many further years of experience, I am quite certain that his position can only be stronger now.

    As to assertion number two around him lacking any professional qualifications, a very quick google search shows that he is a NZAA Certified pilot; this combined with political saavy/experience (6+ years), strong and respectable character and very clear social skills would easily allow him into many different careers.

    None of the above discounts your support of Daniel Newman of course; he looks to be a very reasonable candidate in his own right. I am just calling you on your sweeping statements about his competitor.

    :-)

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