Following on from Curwen Rolinson and NZ First which shows that Rolison has for some time claimed to be part of a NZ First youth wing and has been described in media as president of it for at least two years – Winston Peters has stated there is no youth wing and therefeore there has ever bee a leader or predident of a youth wing.
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
7 JULY 2015
Statement on Curwen Rolinson
A remit proposing to formalise a youth wing is coming before the New Zealand First Convention in August.
Mr Curwen Rolinson was told countless times never to call himself the president or leader of a youth wing. New Zealand First does not have a youth wing in its Constitution, and therefore does not have a former or present president of such an organisation.
That shows the Youth Wing is a thing but unofficial, but Wikipedia won’t be party controlled so that listing may be also unofficial.
Just after NZ First made it back into Parliament in December 2011 Stuff reported in Winston gives up the good life to ‘fix NZ':
NZ First ended the 2008 campaign a broken party when it failed to return to Parliament after Mr Peters was dogged with controversy over donations.
The experience led to some members leaving NZ First disillusioned and privately expressing their disappointment that Mr Peters could have avoided the party’s time in the political wilderness.
Former MP Ron Mark said Mr Peters knew the NZ First brand was solid but he needed to repair and rebuild it.
Mark got back into Parliament last year and was recently elected party deputy by the Caucus.
After years of being urged to start a NZ First youth wing, Mr Peters finally took that advice on board. “There has always been a love for Winston at the universities.”
In 2013 Rolinson and ‘NZ First Youth wing’ were in the news (Dominion): NZ First social media shut
NZ First has shut down some of its social media pages following a complaint about the leader of the party’s youth wing.
NZ First Youth leader Curwen Rolinson posted on Facebook that the party’s board of directors had tabled and accepted a complaint against his ongoing membership.
The board tabled the complaint on Monday night. It will be heard after the party’s convention this weekend.
Rolinson has been a member of NZ First since 2009, and was elected to the board in 2012 for a two-year term.
His post also said he had shut down the NZ First and NZ First Youth Facebook pages on instruction from party leader, Winston Peters.
“Accordingly, Winston has ordered ALL NZF social media pages to be shut down till this complaint has been heard next Monday.”
Peters declined to comment on the complaint, and there was no indication of when the party’s social media pages would be back online.
So Peters seems to have chosen not to comment on references to a youth wing then.
David Farrar Kiwiblogged on this with more details: NZ First youth wing head under investigation
Peters has promoted social media connecting with youth in a slightly different way:
New Zealand First leader Rt Hon Winston Peters will use a Facebook “election” to help uncover a deserving youngster to be his representative in New Zealand’s Youth Parliament.
Youth Parliament sees all MPs select a 16-18 year old to represent them in “Parliament” on July 16-17.
Peters was prominently involved in this:
That’s unrelated to a youth wing of NZ First, but I wonder if young party members like Rolinson were involved in making that a social media event.
In June 2013:
Back Benches – Youth Wing Special 2013
Our Panel: Young Labour President Jessie Lipscombe, New Zealand First Youth Representative Curwen Rolinson, Young Nats President Sean Topham, Young Greens Co-Convenor Lucy Gordon, and ACT on Campus President Taylor Warwood.
Rolinson is promoted there as Youth Representative and not as leader or president but it would be odd if this didn’t have Peters and party approval.
There are many other media references on this, as far back as July 2011 in Leak for Winston Peters:
About 300 of his faithful followers attended the annual conference and a greater number were expected today to hear the leader’s speech.
Most delegates were aged over 60 but the party known for attracting the older voter could also be fielding one of this year’s youngest candidates if 21-year-old Curwen Rolinson, leader of the party’s youth section, gets the nod.
In 2012 Frank Macskasy profiled Rolinson’s NZ First History in Interview: A Young NZer’s Thirst to make a Difference:
This online interview is with Curwen Rolinson, a member of NZ First’s Board of Directors; Leader, NZF Youth; and “one-man nationalist revolution”.
Q: You’re a Director on NZ First’s Board of Directors. How long have you been a member of NZ First…
I joined up a little after the 2008 election.
I decided to go along to a local NZF meeting to see what the party was really like on the ground.
Afterward, Winston and I had a chat about tertiary policy and getting a youth wing going at university.
Also in 2012 in Otago’s student newspaper Critic
Critic loves to inform, so we talked to the Leader, and Troll-in-Chief, of Young NZ First, Curwen Rolinson, as well as “de facto Leader of Young NZ First Dunedin” Beau Murrah, about the policies behind the pinstriped suit and the smile.
It appears as if NZ First had an operational youth wing that wasn’t part of the party constitution.
Why Peters would worry about making the distinction now is curious – he might feel it’s embarrassing for the party that Rolinson has been charged with drug offences but Rolinson was an elected NZ First board member and obviously had close involvement with the party.