Muller declares for Bay of Plenty

March 14th, 2014 at 9:44 am by David Farrar

has announced:

Muller to run for Party BOP candidacy

Todd Muller, one of the ’s most seasoned agribusiness leaders, today confirmed he is putting his name forward to contest the selection to be the next candidate for the New Zealand National Party.  Todd is currently a senior executive at Fonterra Co-operative Group.

“I am keen to return home to the Bay where I grew up, worked, married, had our family and my parents have lived for more than forty years.  With the support of local party members I know we can make a difference for all those living in the Bay of Plenty and continue the extraordinary contribution of Tony Ryall ” he says.

The Bay of Plenty offers so much, our rich natural resources, together with the talents of the people backed by the National Government’s investment in local infrastructure makes us a successful regional growth story”.

“But like all growth regions, the Bay of Plenty needs a strong and assured voice at the decision making table to meet its ongoing economic and social needs.”

Todd has a long history in the Bay of Plenty having completed his schooling there, held senior executive roles at ZESPRI and as CEO of Apata.  In the last three years, he has worked at Fonterra, most recently as Group Director, Co-operative Affairs, reporting to the Chief Executive.

Todd has been active in the National Party for over 25 years and has held positions at branch, regional and national level as well as working for Prime Minister Jim Bolger during the National Government of the 1990s.

Todd is 45, married to Michelle, and they have three children.

I’ve known Todd for around 20 years, from when he was President of the Waikato Students Union, and in the Young Nationals.

At the risk of cursing Todd, many have thought he will be Prime Minister one day. He has a great record of achievement.

In his early days, he would often get to introduce the party leader at regional conferences, and Todd would almost get a bigger standing ovation than the leader! Despite this one leader hired him, and Jim Bolger was a huge fan of Todd’s. Todd would often make the mistake of admitting he had no plans on for a particular weekend, and Mr Bolger would drag him up to the King Country for the weekend to drive around the electorate with him. Todd also had the rare ability to survive extended whisky sessions, yet still be up at 6 am!

Todd’s career post Parliament has been no less stellar.  He became a senior manager at Zespri in his early 30s and then Chief Executive of Apata, which provides post-harvest services to growers. Apata is a medium sized business with turnover around $30 million.

After Apata he went to Fonterra, and has shot up the ranks to the executive leadership team, being promoted after just 18 months to report directly to the CEO. It’s fair to say he’d be taking a massive pay drop if he becomes an MP.

Obviously Todd is not the only candidate for the Bay of Plenty nomination, but I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t win – especially as he grew up in the Bay of Plenty,got married there, and spent much of his working life there. If National can get people like Todd into their caucus, their rejuvenation while in Government programme will be very successful.


20 Responses to “Muller declares for Bay of Plenty”

  1. George Patton (415 comments) says:

    Todd will be superb. I’ve met him numerous times when he was working in Auckland. An individual of very high calibre.

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  2. Alfred (52 comments) says:

    If I was Simon Bridges sitting there thinking he’s got the leadership in the bag with Matthew Hooton’s ipredict promoting him, I’d be a bit worried about now. This guy Muller will have him for breakfast without breaking a sweat. Better warm up the popcorn.

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  3. Keeping Stock (12,366 comments) says:

    And in other news, Lesley Soper was selected for the second time as Labour’s candidate in Invercargill in 2014 (the party being unable to find anyone better after reopening nominations), whilst Phil Goff (1981), Annette King (1984) and Trevor Mallard (1984) continue their slow march towards a taxpayer-funded retirement.

    Helen Clark could not bring herself to rejuvenate the Labour Party, and nor could those who have succeeded her. On the other hand, one of the key skills that John Key brought from the commercial world was the ability to be able to keep his team fresh, and do it in such a way that those being put out to pasture enjoyed it 😀

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  4. Steve Wrathall (362 comments) says:

    How can he know what he’s running for? The final electoral boundaries aren’t out. BOP has steadily contracted into a suburban ring around Tauranga. It would make much more sense to bisect Tauranga into two mainly urban electorates like Hamilton or Dunedin.

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  5. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    A very strong candidate. He has “been there and done that” in the real world, unlike almost all of the Labour and Greens rabble.
    Hopefully he will win – he’d be an excellent addition to the Nats’ ranks.

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  6. georgedarroch (306 comments) says:

    Congratulations to Todd on being elected the MP for Bay of Plenty.

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  7. PaulL (6,056 comments) says:

    I think one of John Key’s great legacies will be his ability to attract talent into parliament. I think part of that is his ability to be a regular guy as well as doing a great job. He has shown that being in parliament doesn’t have to be a micromanaged and intensely political life – you can be yourself and still do well. There is far more depth in the National party than there’s been for years (think back to the days of Brash and English as leaders). Of course, part of that is also the leader – one hallmark of a great leader is their ability to make the people around them look good as well.

    Labour, on the other hand, appear to be continuing to make parliament as unattractive as possible, with backstabbing, infighting, tearing down of each other and generally giving the impression that being in parliament is all about being unpleasant to each other. I can’t imagine what sort of person would want to be part of that team. It only takes a few bad apples to poison an entire team culture.

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  8. georgedarroch (306 comments) says:

    …especially as the National Party had already selected a candidate, Tony Ryall. What public events have happened in the last few weeks to cause Tony to pull out and the party to re-open nominations?

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  9. mikenmild (23,551 comments) says:

    Umm, apparently you missed Ryall’s announcement of his retirement.

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  10. Paul Williams (883 comments) says:

    FWIW, as a centre lefty, I also regard Todd as potentially a very fine and effective senior MP. I’ve had very little to do with him since university days and when he worked for Bolter, but he was a very decent and intelligent individual then with great ability to work constructively across the divides. National do e well to recruit him.

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  11. iMP (2,665 comments) says:

    Steve W. the draft redraw of boundaries came out in Nov. There will be tweaks by April but nothing major, so Todd is announcing for a distinct electorate, and we largely know what BoP is.

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  12. big bruv (15,559 comments) says:

    This is the type of candidate National needs. Not snotty, sneering pricks like Jami-lee Ross who has NEVER has any real life experience.

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  13. Huevon (816 comments) says:

    Appears to be an outstanding candidate. If he has a fault, I suppose he looks like an establishment figure. Without knowing any more, would he be the “Labour-lite” kind of National MP? Would be good to know for those of us who want to see the welfare state reduced, more genuine free market, conservative principles in government.

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  14. mikenmild (23,551 comments) says:

    Whatever would make you think that National would act along those lines, Huevon?

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  15. Steve Wrathall (362 comments) says:

    iMP, There were objectors to the proposed BOP electorate,
    “Bay of Plenty (5) – objectors suggest alternative configuration of the Bay of Plenty with the Tauranga electorate, with some submitters suggesting an east/west split of the electorates, and for the electorates to be renamed to better reflect their communities.”
    So it would make more sense to bite the bullet now and go for a bisected Tauranga, as increased population will make BOP an ever more illogical ring electorate

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  16. igm (2,452 comments) says:

    Why is it National aspirants come from successful commercial/academic backgrounds, yet Labour/Greens are failed academics, failed entrepreneurs, failed socialists, or just downright losers? How could those of a left persuasion have any confidence in supporting these leeches who have no abilities in anything, yet profess to know everything!

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  17. tvb (5,510 comments) says:

    The mid-term rejuvenation that John Key is achieving is a tribute to his leadership and will be a lasting legacy. People who are all-right can be around for while but if they are not going to make it into Cabinet then with a little encouragement they can be moved on to give others a chance. People can look quite good on paper but until they get into the rough and tumble of politics and are tested it is not easy to predict who is going to work out. This latest fuss over Judith Collins has thrown up some weaknesses in her character and may limit her future in that she may not get the top job though she is quite satisfactory as Justice Minister and is probably the best we have had since Ralph Hanan.

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  18. Viking2 (14,365 comments) says:

    UM, for sake of a litle balance.
    Todd grew up in Te Puna, is of the same faith as Bolger, Apata went broke and has recently be rescued by another packhouse group after nearly 3 years of anguish.

    Were a bit of an odd family that rarely mixed with the locals and didn’t participate much in local activities.

    Never offended anyone.

    There ya go, from the neighbours.

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  19. DJP6-25 (1,779 comments) says:

    Maybe over the next few election cycles, things will look a bit more like NZ circa 1920. A few leftist MPs. A liberal party with some actual principles, and a conservative party with some actual principles. Each keeping the other relatively honest.

    On another note, I see from Whaleoil that Prebs is reviving the Letter. It should be worth reading. The ‘Goss’ in the late 90s certainly was.

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  20. Matt Long (100 comments) says:

    Definitely not impressive in Fonterra, gives apparently he knows best without bothering to consult with people who understand conditions on the ground. Gives off a condescending, almost sneering vibe. Won’t be missed, just hope he does better as an MP.

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