Media frenzy over National leadership

Yesterday the political media were persistently pushing for declarations of trust from Simon Bridges and declarations of loyalty from Judith Collins, knowing that neither would be frank. This is political theatre at it’s worst.

The National caucus had a longer than usual meeting yesterday, prompting the attention after doubts have grown about the ability of Bridges to hold on to the leadership.

Newshub claim to have some sort of scoop:  Newshub understands Sir John Key has shown support for Judith Collins

Newshub understands former Prime Minister Sir John Key has shown some support behind the scenes for Judith Collins to be National leader.

Key would not confirm this to Newshub, only to say, “I don’t comment on leadership issues” – but because of his standing in the party, MPs still go to him for advice and he commands huge respect in the National Caucus.

An endorsement – or even a subtle nod – could be a game-changer.

Or not – Key has no vote on the leadership, and he should be reluctant to get involved in leadership issues.

Newshub was also leaked details of the National Party’s Caucus meeting on Tuesday, which included a specific warning to MPs not to talk to Newshub.

Simon Bridges survived another day as leader of the National Party as well as his first showdown with MPs after some started laying the groundwork for a coup in favour of Judith Collins.

National’s Caucus meeting was Bridges’ first face off with all his MPs in two weeks and since some of them started seriously stirring against his leadership, saying the numbers are firming up for Collins.

National MPs holed up for more than two hours in the meeting, and Bridges emerged victorious.

This is emotive language in lieu of actual news. ‘They are ‘holed up’ for every caucus meeting.

Bridges didn’t emerge victorious, he came out with no change to his leadership.

The rest of the Newshub report is not deserving of being repeated. It is poor nonsense from political editor Tova O’Brien.

This from Politik (prior to yesterday’s meeting) is more reasoned:

It is.clear that National’s membership is becoming impatient; that it wants to see the party produce a plan for the future and engage less in day to day brawling with Labour.

There has been an amount of credible media speculation that this is

There was almost a tacit acknowledgement of that yesterday with a lengthy defence of his leadership by his deputy Paula Bennett.

“There are things you want in a leader,” she said.

“I want somebody who is intelligent.

“I want someone that is going to work harder than me, because that is what I expect in my leader.

“And without sounding it, I work pretty bloody hard for this party and this country.

“But he works harder than I do.

“He works harder than any of our other MPs.

“I want someone who has a vision for this country and puts that first.

“And someone who knows that whatever discussions we are having in the caucus are not about who is sitting in what seat but what is best for this country.

“That is what I want in a Leader, and that is what you have got in Simon Bridges.”

National has three more regional conferences to go. There were signs in Hamilton that the grassroots party members want change, possibly big change. The challenge over the next three conferences will be for the leadership to demonstrate that they are listening. Otherwise those standing ovations will become even more reluctant.

Working harder is not good enough if it is simply not working, and that’s how it appears with Bridges. Too many people cringe whenever he speaks on television.

Some of the media sharks smell leadership blood and are more than circling, they are trying to force bites.

National will take their own time to work out what to do about Bridges, who shows no sign of giving up.



Leave a comment


  1. Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  1st May 2019

      Holed up, indeed, does this person expect a caucus meeting to take place in a public park ?

      And does Tova O’Brien really expect that she’ll be told anything before there’s a public announcement to make ?

      Judith Collins wasn’t silly enough to fall into the obvious trap set for her yesterday. The reporter seemed to think that if she asked the leading question enough times, Judith Collins would somehow not realise that it was one.

  2. Gezza

     /  1st May 2019

    Bridges in major trouble

    Mike Hosking takes a minute to put the boot in.

    • Corky

       /  1st May 2019

      Mikey has given his blessing for Bridges to be taken out.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st May 2019

        It’s hardly his decision to make.

        What on earth was that jacket ? His old school uniform ?

  3. Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  1st May 2019

    New improved Paula…should try ..standup comedy.

  5. duperez

     /  1st May 2019

    Of course there’s media frenzy about the National Party leadership. In a sense though, the leadership of a political party is incidental. What is important is the frenzy.

    Frenzies are what the media need. They are the tent poles to hold the tent up, the more of them there are, the higher they are, the more space on the sides of the Big Top are available for revenue gathering.

    Frenzies are the bursts of gas pumped into the dirigible so it can hover over us with it’s ever changing wallpaper doing the same.

    The audience is conditioned to the Big Top and dirigible dominating the landscape and the skyscape, so ever-present that without them we would be lost. We want relevance and meaning, they are there for us, the true markers of our existence. Us, not in the light they’re giving, but somewhere in their shadows.

    Now, got that ethereal stuff out of the way, back to reality. Did you hear Michelle Boag on RNZ talking about Judith Collins?!

    Wow! If Mediaworks or NZME could hook up with UFC or WWE and get those two in the octagon or ring together …. 🙃

    • Duker

       /  1st May 2019

      This is why both channels changed to female political editors they wanted to reach a larger female audience.
      Trouble is the reality shows have beaten them to it and have gone to a whole new level of emotive nonsense.
      In some ways the ‘ right casting’ is looking at them in plain sight ! Paula Bennett for national leader. her new public persona is straight out of Real Housewives- and is waiting for her new show …….?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st May 2019

        Tova O’Brien was all pouty last night because National wouldn’t talk to her. I can’t think why they wouldn’t 😀

        • Gezza

           /  1st May 2019

          Be surprised if anyone in National will ever be bothered talking to “Toxic Tova” again.
          Unless, maybe, to set her up for something fake that makes her look a right lollipop.

          • Duker

             /  1st May 2019

            Dont be silly . Of course they will talk , just not publicly. She probably has even more leaks now. That was one of Keys strengths, he had the political editors on side , even won over the ultra skeptic Soper, at the other end he had Hosking humping his leg.
            Soimun is making so many many mistakes, he thinks he can walk in Keys shoes just like that. Key of course had real power as PM and could give the inside story on many things to the journos ( off the record), while Soimun goes on about slushies

            • Gezza

               /  1st May 2019

              You could have a point, but they might need to be wary that if she’ll shaft Simon at the early drop of a soon-to-be released expenses list for a scoop, she’ll put a jounalistic shiv into anyone in National for the same reason. I don’t watch tv3 much, so don’t know much about her as a political editor. Does she put a stilletto into Labour & the Greens much?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  1st May 2019

            That wouldn’t be too hard with Slithy Tova. She must think that National and the people watching the news are idiots.

            What fun if someone ‘leaked’ a story to her, as Earl Spencer and his wife did. Stories about them were appearing in the press, and they worked out who it probably was. They told him that the Earl was going to be hosting a talkshow in the US and they would be living there. Sure enough, this story appeared in the papers !

            I wish that someone would do this to Tova O’Brien. It could well end her career.

            ‘A National Caucus member has told 3 News that Simon Bridges and Judith Collins have left their respective spouses for each other…’

            ‘A National MP has told 3 News’s Tova O’Brien that National will soon be announcing a new tax policy. GST would rise to 25% and the top tax rate to 59%.’

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  1st May 2019

              $1,000,000+ on slushies that must be about the most unhealthy drink going, almost solid sugar and various additives as a subsitute for airconditioning seems a poor investment. What about people who don’t want to fill themselves with this sort of thing ? Not everyone likes sickly sweet things with artificial flavours.

              Airconditioning would be a far better investment.

  6. Duker

     /  1st May 2019

    Interesting numbers from the Australian election polls
    The preferred PM numbers are ( only 2 names to choose)
    Morrison are mid 40%
    Shorten are mid 30%

    An opposition leader can get high numbers yet Bridges cant

    In the TPP as the call it for head to head main party numbers, The Coalition is just back to where it was when Turnbull was ousted

    Changing leaders here wont change anything either

  7. alloytoo

     /  1st May 2019

    the media is beginning to sound a little shrill, they’re desperate for an opposition leader scalp, missing the bad old John Key days when it was easy to catch your quota.

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st May 2019

    His judgement is poor and his presentation is pedestrian so it’s just a matter of time unless Labour feed him a big blunder.

  1. Media frenzy over National leadership — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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