National Party conference: 'Bitter lessons' to learn from 2020

National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ
National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ
National's leader Judith Collins is promising party members the caucus is unified and up to the task of fighting the next election.

About 700 supporters are gathering in Auckland this weekend, for the party's three-day annual conference, where they can expect to hear more details about how National will rebuild from last year's disastrous election result and prepare to take on Labour in 2023.

In her opening address, Collins said she and her MPs had heard the message from the membership about the need for discipline.

"Your caucus has listened to you," she said.

"You have told us you want unity, respect and professionalism. You want your caucus working together and backing each other. We have listened and we are serious.

"Our party has always been strongest when we all remember we are on the same team."

Collins will give her keynote speech to the conference on Sunday, but said she would reveal more details about National's policy priorities.

National Party president Peter Goodfellow is seeking re-election. Photo: RNZ
National Party president Peter Goodfellow. Photo: RNZ
Meanwhile, National's president Peter Goodfellow said the party had learnt the "bitter lessons" from 2020.

He said it was important the mistakes that were made were not repeated in future.

Goodfellow reassured members the party was acting on the findings of the internal review of the 2020 election campaign, and they would be voting on a number of proposed rule changes at the conference.

He said the candidate selection process would also be reformed, so party members can be confident about anyone who is standing for National.

"That new process would cover more extreme and comprehensive vetting, wraparound support, mentoring and education, and a focus on core party values and principles," Goodfellow said.

"We can accept nothing less."

Goodfellow could be challenged for his job, as he has been seen as being partly responsible for the party's performance at last year's election.

The election of the party board take place tomorrow and the outcome will be announced on Sunday.

Comments

Well... Let's be generous and give crusher the benefit of the doubt.
I look forward, from Monday, to the new National Party and the Leader who has taken on board the wishes of the membership and will totally reverse her apparent "set in stone" and losing leadership style.
Well... Maybe not to much benefit of the doubt... after all she still has the same bunch of dedicated team players standing behind her...
In fact... I'm putting my $ on her being rolled and replaced by the end of the year.

My dad gave me sound advice "Never buy anything off a well dressed man. How do you think he gets well dressed?!"
The Nats are all in the latest suits and thats where it stops. Male Pales & Stale.
They were the party of the farmers but that don't work anymore. They choose appalling MPs. Yes Collins will go, she's an embarrassment. She will be replaced with Reti & Luxon.
Best thing seriously, scrap the whole party and start again.
But I will vote Jacinda.

Three weeks on from the conference and no sign of any change in crusher collins or national's approach.
In fact she appears to have doubled down on her losing style.

 

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