Saturday, March 5, 2011


Most political parties in New Zealand are of the 'cadre' variety, bereft of membership and, where there is an electorate organisation, most likely it is controlled by a few activists who answer to themselves and not the electorate.

The National Party has always prided itself on its grassroots membership and while the halcyon days of 1975 when membership stood at a quarter of a million will never be repeated it is important that their MPs acknowledge that maintaining an effective electorate organisation brings dividends by ensuring they remain close to their grassroots support base (not to mention the 'dosh' generated by numbers).

The Veteran is fortunate to be living in an electorate where its membership is more than the countrywide membership of ACT; United Future and Winston First combined and, I suspect, comes close to Labour's nationwide membership total.

And so it is that I am concerned and disappointed that in Botany and Rodney the National Party had to appoint 'top up' delegates to allow the selection process to proceed. The Party rules specify that a minimum of 60 voting delegates are required determine their candidate based on one delegate per 15 members = 900 members. Where membership is less than 900, additional delegates are appointed from eligible party members (preferably from within the electorate).

Clearly for Pansy Wong and Lockwood Smith, ensuring they had a strong electorate organisation was not a priority for them even though they held their seats with majorities in excess of 10,000 ... and I think that is sad. Hopefully their successors will not disappoint in this regard


Redbaiter said...

"halcyon days of 1975 when membership stood at a quarter of a million will never be repeated"

Not while the Nats continue to morph into Labour at the rate they currently do no. The party is a disgrace and full of people who have no regard whatsoever for their founding principles. Idiots like you Veteran, so narrow in your political perspective it stretches all the way from far left to extreme left, and that's it. So ignorant of real world politics you cannot even begin to understand what a Conservative is. You have completely forgotten what the Nats were once all about.

The current collection of Nats (under Key especially) are a disgrace to NZ politics, and the sooner their fortunes turn and they are kicked out of office the better in the long term for the country. Shams charlatans and frauds the lot of them. No wonder they've got no electoral support. They spend all their time sucking up to left wing media instead of acting in accordance with their party principles.

mawm said...

I'll add to that Red - and they are not listening to (what's left of) their electorate. S59, ETS, Electoral Finance Bill, Foreshore and Seabed.

Their only saving grace is that there is no viable alternative....yet.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

In my business experience, those who have most to say about ethics have none. I suspect the same is likely true for those who rabbit on about 'acting in accordance with their party principles.'

Red, would you care to enuniate the National Party principles to which you refer? Along with your source material? In other words don't waste my time with what you think the principles should be.

Anonymous said...


I think that if you did your research, you would find that Labour has more registered members than National nationwide, and any one electorate National Party membership wouldn't be a fraction of Labour's national membership.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Anon 7.16

DO you mean all those trade union members who didn't know they'd been 'signed on' as Labour Party members?

The Veteran said...

Redbaiter ... f**k off from my blog if you have neither that whit or intelligence to comprehend what I am saying.

Right now National has more electoral support than it ever enjoyed back in the 1970s (remember Social Credit polling around the 20% mark).

This is all about 'lazy' MPs who fail to understand the mores of the Party. Something they forget at their peril when things turn to custard.

But then Rdbaiter I do forgive you as not understanding that simple premise ... you who would have it that anyone to the 'left' of Genghs Khan is a candidate for Hitlers gas ovens.

Anonymous said...


I just mean registered party members. I can't do a break down, and am only making the point in the interests of accuracy (not disagreeing with Veteran's main point).

The Veteran said...

Anon 7.15 ... my sources tell me that the Labour Party membership (I do not include affiliated unions) stands at less than 3,400.

In the Northland electorate it is less than 50.

Labour has NEVER come within a bulls roar of National in the membership stakes.

Simon said...

Anon 7.16 -

In the rotten boroughs, there will be more Labour members per household than people actually living there.

Anonymous said...


Labour Party membership is around 60,000. Affiliates are included in this figure (I don't have the figures to hand to break it down), but it should be noted that affiliated unions vote to become affiliated members of Labour. There is no coercion and those who don't want to can leave.

Simon said...

Anon 7.51 pm -

'Affiliates' - what a polite, PC way of describing press-ganging.

Redbaiter said...

"Red, would you care to enuniate the National Party principles to which you refer? Along with your source material?"

Sure I would be happy to do that Adolf. In the meantime, could you just confirm the fact that like most of the National Party and their supporters, you don't know what they are or where to find them?

Rex Widerstrom said...

Well said, Veteran.

Parliament is polluted enough with List MPs, who lack accountability to anyone but their promoters within the party hierarchy.

Electorate MPs are the last vestige of accountability in our system and for them to allow their membership to wither in this way is disgraceful.

I've called many times for a legislated set of minimum standards to which parties must adhere.

But in the meantime any party which claims to be serious about its role in a representative democracy might like to consider promulgating a rule which penalises an MP who doesn't keep his or her membership up to a certain level (a percentage bof the electorate population, perhaps) with automatic de-selection.

Redbaiter said...

"you who would have it that anyone to the 'left' of Genghs Khan is a candidate for Hitlers gas ovens."

See? This is what I mean. This damn fool portrays himself as a National Party stalwart, but apparently doesn't know the difference between a Conservative and a Nazi? What the hell is someone so ignorant of basic political principles doing in any political party, let alone the Nationals?

The Veteran's pitiful inability to understand even the most simple political points typifies why the Nats are so hopelessly ineffective, and why the much more focussed left have made utter mincemeat of them for three decades, and dragged the Nats far towards the left end of the spectrum. None of the Nats have a damn clue what they are meant to be doing. They have no anchor to stop the drift.

Rex Widerstrom said...

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Red, would you care to enuniate the National Party principles to which you refer? Along with your source material?

To be fair to Red, I spent an hour or so trying to find this information yesterday. I mean I have a pretty good idea of what they were (as I'm sure does Red) but try and find reference to them now...

I asked on Kiwiblog and will ask here... if someone has a copy of "The First 50 Years" by Barry Gustafson, could they perhaps look to that for some indication as to the principles on which the National Party was founded?

If you can't be bothered, give (or loan) me the book and I'll do it.

It'd be incredibly useful to have, rather than arguing about what we think they are.

alex Masterley said...

Red, you where asked a question by AF.
I for one would be interested in your response setting out where you think the Nats should be and what their core policies should be?
Can we have something coherent please?
Thank you

mawm said...

From their website

Vision and Values:-

We believe this will be achieved by building a society based on the following values:

• Loyalty to our country, its democratic principles and our Sovereign as Head of State
• National and personal security
• Equal citizenship and equal opportunity
• Individual freedom and choice
• Personal responsibility
• Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement
• Limited government
• Strong families and caring communities
• Sustainable development of our environment


What we stand for:-

The National Party was founded on principles of individual responsibility, private enterprise, and reward for individual effort. These principles are the only sure path to a society of personal freedom and rising standards of living for all.

pdm said...

"What we stand for:-

The National Party was founded on principles of individual responsibility, private enterprise, and reward for individual effort. These principles are the only sure path to a society of personal freedom and rising standards of living for all."

There seems to be a fair deviation around the left hand side of this guys - especially the reward for individual effort bit.

Anonymous said...

My God Adolf! Humiliated by Russell and mawm. Exposed by a couple of nutbars as utterly ignorant of the publicly available principles of the party you shill for. Embarrassed?

Judge Holden

Redbaiter said...

I have done a post on it.

National Party's Founding Principles.


Simon said...

Redbaiter - I'd love to know who your conservative gods are? I'm afraid that your blog doesn't tell me.

Personally, I think capitalising 'conservative' reifies it.

Dave said...

Unfortunately The Veteran seems typical of many pied-piper National Party supporters who are happy to continue towing the party line no matter how far off centre the current regime travels. John Key and his ruling company are often competing with Phil Goff as to who can be the most centre-left and nanny state. The theoretical principles of "Individual freedom and choice, Personal responsibility, and rewards for achievement" have largely been abandoned under this incarnation.

Anonymous said...

"Labour has NEVER come within a bulls roar of National in the membership stakes."

Yay, National wins then. Whoopee. I can't tell them apart from Labour. They even have a disfunctional traitor in Finlayson whom Key won't throw out into the cold with Labour, the Greens and that racist party where he belongs.

Comparing these stats is so much bullshit. It seems like nationally we are in a trance where someone is pulling strings to make us dance to tunes we hate.

The Veteran said...

Redbaiter - Conservative - not.

Redbaiter - reactionary - perhaps.

Redbaiter - irrelevant - yes.

Redbaiter ... if you were anything more than piss and wind you would have tested your support by standing in Botany.

Sort of some right wing nutbag answer to Penny Bright.

Anonymous said...

As long as I can remember old National was never been about right of centre politics. Show me a single publicly owned asset they sold off. National was old style consevative and that served them well with Keith Holyoake taking four elections on the the trot. Holland, Holyoake and Muldoon built infrastructure. They didn't hock it off to their mates in the private sector who whinged incessantly that they could do it better. Present day Nats are deluded if they think things were any different.

Sally said...

"People who seek political power are, with exceptions too rare to matter, never to be trusted; at best, such people are vain and officious busybodies.

People who actually achieve political power are to be trusted even less than those who seek it without success; winning elections requires a measure of deceitfulness and Machiavellian immorality that no decent person comes close to possessing." -- Donald Boudreaux

Redbaiter said...

If you can't agree with the founding principles of the party, you should get the hell out of it, not change the principles. Go join Labour Veteran, and take Key and all his other clueless commie acolytes with you.

The Veteran said...

RB ... just because you continually say that the National Party has no principles doesn't make it so.

Neither I guess does my saying that you are a right wing reactionary nutbag.

Problem is that you are completely irrelevant to the political process. You are ideologically wedded to the 100% rule clothed in the cloak of so called principled respectibility whereas in real politik it's the 80/20 rule that governs how things are done.

So by all means remain pure if you wish to .... and irrelevant.

Redbaiter said...

"Neither I guess does my saying that you are a right wing reactionary nutbag."

Why, because I agree with the founding principles of the National Party?

You didn't even know what they were.

Who are you to making judgments on who is "right wing" and who is not? I'm just a Conservative. You have no idea what that means.

You're a far left Progressive of the type that has destroyed the National party over the last thirty or fourty years by taking it far from its ideological roots and in the process, giving up all the political ground to the left.

I'm not a far right nutbar, I stand for the National Party's founding principles.

You are a far left infiltrator who every time you write something here, spits on those founding principles. That you didn't even know existed.

Get the hell out of the Nationals. Sid Holland would be spinning in his grave if he could see what a hopeless wreck you have made of a once great party.

Anonymous said...

RB - "I'm just a Conservative" - what does that mean for you? What is your definition of conservatism?

RightsaidFred said...

Red Baiter is just an irrelevant sad internet troll who has wasted the last 15 or so years of his life getting banned from most blogs, making enemies and changing absolutely nothing.

dad4justice said...

Redbaiter nails yet another thread. The Nats are a sicker joke than Aunty Helens Absolute Power regime.Politics in NZ is very sick indeed.

Heine said...

Anon 8:44am, the Nats sold NZ Rail (good on then too) but the 2008 intake are a lot different than the 1990's intake - who were really confused that Labour was progressing their values better than they were. Many if not most Nats in opposition were against everything Sir Roger did for NZ.

The National Party founding principles surely have changed, nobody could possible take seriously that in the days of Muldoon, that the nats supported individual liberty, Limited government, Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement etc.

You must have a very big electorate to have more than the ACT membership nationwide Veteran. I strongly doubt you are being serious with that. If you think that just because you may have more than other parties makes you better - I'd counter and say that it only proves you have more deluded people on board.