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Peter Goodfellow re-elected as National Party president

Newshub logo Newshub 21/11/2020 Scott Palmer
Peter Goodfellow wearing a suit and tie: Former Prime Minister Sir John Key gave his party a stern telling off, warning them to learn from its election defeat or remain out of power for nine years. © Image - Getty; Video - Newshub Former Prime Minister Sir John Key gave his party a stern telling off, warning them to learn from its election defeat or remain out of power for nine years.

The National Party has re-elected Peter Goodfellow as its president at its AGM on Saturday.

Goodfellow, who has served since 2009, thanked the party and board members for their "vote of confidence" in him.

"I am humbled and privileged that the party faithful have expressed their confidence in me, and also elected a strong and united board," he said in a statement following his victory.

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"I have made commitments that I will honour covering the campaign review, fundraising and delivering the change needed to win the 2023 campaign.

"We have a big job ahead of us, and I'm confident our board has the skills and talent to deliver a strong and united Opposition."

The National board is elected directly by party members every year, and then the board selects the president.

The AGM saw four candidates stand for the three board seats available. It's understood that of the successful three, former MP and Speaker David Carter received the most and Goodfellow the least.

Campaigning for a position, Carter warned members that changes were needed to avoid "history repeating itself" - a reference to National's battering in the recent election.

But speaking directly to members at the AGM earlier on Saturday, Goodfellow laid the blame for National's defeat on the Labour Government's COVID-19 response.

He called the election "a race of celebrity leadership" and described the daily COVID-19 updates as "televangelistic".

"It was suddenly a crime for us to ask legitimate questions or comments, and daily broadcasts became televangalistic, like gospel to the masses. Democracy for a period of time gave way to a form of temporary tyranny," he said.

The vote for the Goodfellow status quo left former National staffer and commentator Ben Thomas unimpressed.

"Glad that he started today as he means to go on: crying about life being unfair and telling ~20 percent of the electorate they're brainwashed serfs for switching from Nats to Labour," he tweeted.

"What kind of message does his speech today - playing to a diehard base to secure his internal position at the expense of embarrassing headlines for the party - send to the MPs who were told to pull their heads in for the greater good."

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