NZ First keeps board membership secret

NZ First party president Brent Catchpole has reversed his position and won't release the names

Two days after undertaking to release a list of the board of the New Zealand First party board, its president Brent Catchpole has changed his mind.

Several members of a group that leader Winston Peters says will be consulted tomorrow on the formation of the next government do not want their names in public, he says.

"You don't need to know the names of the board members. It's as simple as that," Catchpole said this morning after undertaking reluctantly two days ago to make the list of party officeholders public."That's just something you're going to have to live with."

Peters has told media that he expects to take options for government formation to his caucus this evening and to his party's board tomorrow morning, where he will be seeking consensus on a preferred outcome. He has dismissed criticism that the party lacks democratic processes.

According to the NZ First party constitution, the party's governance structure has 14 members, including an ex officio deputy-general. The publicly disclosed members are Peters and deputy leader Ron Mark, former MP Catchpole and secretary Anne Martin.

RNZ has this morning published a list it says it obtained from party sources, naming a vice president North Island, Julian Paul, a vice president South Island, John Thorn, and treasurer Holly Hopkinson. The directors of the board are listed as Claire Ashley, Toa Greening, Robert Monds, Anne Marie Andrews, Kevin Gardener and Sue Sara, RNZ reported.

The New Zealand Herald has also published a more extensive list of people thought to have served on the NZ First board in recent times.

Catchpole said "some of the board members have requested for their names not to be disclosed and so it's either all or nothing so you won't be getting that list" and questioned why the board membership was of public interest.

Some party officeholders were "private citizens" and "not MPs or politicians" who'd put themselves forward for public office, he said.

Asked how secrecy about the party's board membership squared with the NZ First party constitution's opening principles of commitment to "open and accountable government", Catchpole said he was "happy to be the president of a party that keeps the confidentiality of the people who are involved in it".

"Our membership is confidential and that's the way it will remain."

Both the National and Labour parties publish the names of their party board members on their websites.

(BusinessDesk)


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This hasnt played out well in history

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No, however honouring the original agreements with the board members is probably a good thing.
Its important in any context where large scale operations need to interface with small scale operations to not make judgements to quickly.
The challenge for NZ Inc is to have patience for smaller wheels to turn.
The alternatives are worse.

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Crazy all round. An unelected and secret society (Nz firsts so called "board") determine whether or not NZ is governed by a communist party (Labour/Green) or a slightly less obvious socialist party (National). The electorate do not have a say in this nor over who actually is in charge of said totalitarian control.

Worrying times if you are or were a fan of a concept once known as democracy.

The only question remains is whether the country will have to wait or whether the board (secret) will tag along to convene on Winstons' weekend fishing trip!

What a sham!

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The time to require parties to make public their decision makers was prior to the election.
It is a more basic guiding rule of law that rules ought to be agreed prior to the process commencing.
The point is to the extent there is a problem its all of ours - we cant blame NZ First.

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HaHa...true colours shining through. As I said before I bet most of the "names" are pure compliant nominees for WP and probably had no idea they were / are on a board. What a farce that electoral law allows this and that NZF want to indulge in secret state / big brother stuff.
The lack of any one with any displayed credentials amongst the "names" makes it obvious it is all a Sham.

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The other thing is it could be real democracy at work where big time speedy NZ collides with small town 'whats the rush' NZ.
Perhaps people doing things at the pace your own family would do them if they were volunteering for something is a sign that ordinary people are involved.

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Does anyone know what the legal structure of NZF is? There is an incorporated society #590235 in the name New Zealand First Incorporated last filing is an Annual Return for 2015 with no financial activity filed by an Ann Martin of Warkworth. Presume this is the same Ann Martin?
Seems very odd no public record? What is NZF hiding and where are they hiding it?

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So where is the Electoral Commission on this? Who is in charge of a political party, particularly a major one like NZF, surely has an obligation to disclose but I'll tell you now the spineless tossers at the EC won' see it that way and will just sit on their hands despite the Electoral Act requirements for parties to be open and transparent in their operations.

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