John Key: If you can't quit leaking, quit National

Former Prime Minister John Key speaking at the National Party AGM in Wellington this morning....
Former Prime Minister John Key speaking at the National Party AGM in Wellington this morning. Photo: NZ Herald
Former Prime Minister Sir John Key has a staunch message to any National MPs who continue to leak against the party: "If you can't quit leaking, quit the party".

He was speaking at National's AGM in Wellington this morning, where he, leader Judith Collins and party president Peter Goodfellow addressed hundreds of delegates following a disastrous election result.

Collins spoke about the opportunities that lie ahead for National and how it can take power in 2023.

Goodfellow, who is up for re-election as president today, however, attacked the media and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

But the most applause of the morning came after Key took aim at National MPs who have been leaking to the media.

"Here is my very simple advice to those who like to leak to the media – if you can't quit your leaking, here's clue quit the party."

He said even if the leakers somehow think they are doing the party good, that attitude is wrong.

"Disunity is reported as disunity because that's exactly what it is."

He said voters "hugely punish" disunity.

"The public look at it and say 'for goodness sake, if they can't run their own party, how on earth will they run a party."

He told MPs it was okay to disagree and to debate ideas - but that should be done privately.

"We shouldn't do it by going behind people's backs."

Meanwhile, Key also warned National Party faithful not to underestimate Ardern.

"Some people are going to tell you that eventually the public is going to get sick of Jacinda Ardern". But he said that was a mistake.

"It is exactly what the Labour Party said about me for nearly a decade. If we underestimate Jacinda and her advisers, we will be in opposition for a very long time."

National Party president Peter Goodfellow is seeking re-election. Photo: RNZ
National Party president Peter Goodfellow is seeking re-election. Photo: RNZ
Goodfellow seeking re-election

Goodfellow's term as a board member has come to an end but he, along with South Island board member Rachel Bird, are both seeking re-election at the annual general meeting in Wellington.

Goodfellow has been party president since 2009.

Three board positions are up for grabs and four people, including Goodfellow and Bird, are in contention.

Outgoing long-serving MP and former Speaker David Carter is also putting his hat in the ring, along with former board member Grant McCallum.

There are nine members of the board - seven are elected and the other two are the leader and a caucus representative, who is usually a whip.

Elected members serve a term of two years, with four of the positions coming up in one year and the other three the year after.

This year there are three positions being voted on by the delegates, which includes MPs, and the constitution dictates that at all times one of the members must be from the Auckland/Northern region, and another from the South Island.

Currently Bird is the South Island representative so if she fails to be re-elected then Carter would be, on the basis he is the only other contender from the south.

The third vacancy on the board this year has come about after Roger Bridge tendered his resignation.

He was accused of attempting to derail a candidate for the Auckland Central seat with a late-night call to talkback radio.

- NZ Herald and RNZ 

Comments

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Oh please !!! They simply lost because of the Ardern effect. Get over it and move on - because the time will come when she will lose favour like they all eventually do. And I certainly take anything Key says with a pinch of salt, after all, he didn't even have the guts to see out his term in office and face Ardern in an election. Any other excuse is just fluff.

You are correct that National did poorly because of Ardern, however that was not the only reason as many commentators have pointed out:
Strategic voting to keep the Greens out (didn't work).
Three leaders in election year.
COVID 19 where many voters think the government did an outstanding job and that "Jacinda has kept us safe", even though there has been many mistakes, three ministers flicked, and every promise from 2017 not kept e.g. Dunedin hospital construction was supposed to have started in 2020 yet clearing of the site hasn't finished, let alone the fiasco of Kiwibuild.
For voters that do not like Labour they can rest assured that if the past three years of non-delivery is anything to go by then National voters have nothing to worry about.
Odd as it may seem, if it wasn't for COVID 19, then Labour may not have got back in and if it wasn't for COVID 19, President Trump could have won.
Key is right about unity. Nothing turns off voters more than hypocrisy, poor leadership and infighting.
In order for National to "get over it" that party needs to review what went wrong, learn and have something to offer the public as a viable alternative to Labour.

What evidence at all is there that Nats voted Labour?

Ardern wasn't the leader when he left. Elements of the media were going after his children and I recall one TV3 panel show loving a vile rap song about Key and his daughter. Key left to move his children out of the spotlight and I think good on him for doing that.

Well, I certainly hope the rest of your National Party members believe the same as you and ignore the most popular leader your party has had since Muldoon. The worst thing for Labour would be if they listened to Key. Fortunately with Goodhew being re-elected National Party chairman that's highly unlikely.

National can't find a competent leader because they select incompetent candidates. Forget about quitting the party, the party should quit politics. It's a 19th century party with 17th century policies, it is so far past its use by date that it is going completely rancid.
With euthanasia now legal, start with the National Party and put it out of everyone's misery.

Communism, here we come! 1

National can win the next election by changing their name, thats all. Make Aotearoa great again in short MAGA....
When you lose big....it's time to really reflect of what you do, why you do it and the best thing National can do is sell all its assets and go home and watch Netflix...

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