Knowing when to go

Kaikoura MP Colin King lost a selection contest against vineyard owner Stuart Smith.

. . . “National’s selection process is highly democratic. Nothing is pre-determined and I congratulate Stuart for securing the nomination,” said Canterbury-Westland Regional Chairman Roger Bridge.

“Stuart has been an advocate for Marlborough communities for many years and will offer voters a strong voice in John Key’s National Party at the next election.

“I also wish to acknowledge Colin King. Colin has worked hard as the MP and served these communities well

Mr Smith is a fourth generation South Islander, former Chairman of the New Zealand Winegrowers Association, and a founding member and current Chairman of the community-owned Southern Valley’s Irrigation Scheme.

Based in Blenheim on the Smith-Small family-owned vineyard Fairhill Downs, he is married to Julie and is father to three teenage children.

“I am very grateful for the confidence that the Party have shown in me tonight,” said Mr Smith.

“National’s plan to build a stronger economy is delivering real opportunities for us in Marlborough and North Canterbury, but regional New Zealand is facing many challenges and there is still much more to be done.

“I will be working hard to win the support of our communities to ensure we can keep building on this progress after the next election. 

Colin King, who was elected as the MP for Kaikoura in 2005, is encouraging local members and supporters to get in behind the new candidate and help return National to Government next election.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to serve as the MP and I have greatly enjoyed making a contribution to the growth of our region,” said Mr King.

“While I am disappointed that I will not be able to represent Kaikoura after the next election, I want to express my support for the National-led Government and encourage members and supporters in the electorate to get in behind Stuart and National in 2014.

“The next election will be vital for the future of our region. I will be working hard to support the Government to keep delivering on its positive plan.”

Losing a selection is a sad way for an MP to end a career but National’s rules leaves selection to members in the electorate.

Sometimes they have a different idea about when it’s time for an MP to go than the MP does.

UPDATE – Gravedodger pays tribute to King at No Minister:

First met Colin when as a very good shearer he shore a few hundred of my greasy old corriedales in what is now the Waipara Wine district c1974.
He was a very different guy then, intelligent, well read, and smart enough to recognise that being fit, logical and organised was better than the traditional, drinking cussing, inefficient unfit model that Godfry Bowen transformed, only he was 40 years younger.

Saw Colin win the Golden Shears title at Masterton from a right hand stand, that being a lefty, forced King to waltz each of his 20 sheep through 180 degrees to align it with the handpiece and  then maneuver the shorn animal to a porthole in the wrong position. He still won and then twice more after the dinosaurs that ran the show arranged for a designated “Lefty stand”.

When he stood for the Kaikoura seat nearly nine years ago he reinforced my belief that National party candidates were grounded in life skills that gave an enormous advantage in their approach to the very limited power they have to make meaningful change. . .

11 Responses to Knowing when to go

  1. Neil says:

    My sympathies to Colin. I’ve met him a couple of times and seems a really good guy.
    However politics today is the game of achieving a certain standard. Gone are the days of what I call the “arse sitters” who decide to spend 40 years in the seat while the height of their parliamentary career is deputy chair of the nutrition committee.
    MMP has helped too, with people being able to vote the list for your party choice while poor mp’s can be punished without affecting the party vote.
    When selections occur the xcreening committee needs to look at their academic and achievement cv. As well, parachutists are not popular in the general electorate.
    Labor seems to look after their lady unionists well, some of the Auckland ladies have achieved little beyond being supporters of unionism.


  2. Gravedodger says:

    Will Colin King be the last MP who took a towel to a previous employment to mop up the sweat (Ben Couch c1980).

    A remarkable person indeed won the Golden Shears three times, the first from a stand designed for Right handed shearers.
    Well read, intelligent and knew how to succeed at many tasks.

    Was handed an undeserved negative image by many opponents and their ignorant MSM buddies because he had been a shearer, LOL then they attatched their wagon to one named Shearer who had never had a job outside the trough in his life. Sorry the massive rort that is the UN does not make for a real job.

    Well done Colin enjoy your retirement, I am certain you will have significantly less garbage to dispose of and many worthwhile things to do.
    Oh and thankyou for your service to your country.


  3. Andrei says:

    MMP has helped too, with people being able to vote the list for your party choice while poor mp’s can be punished without affecting the party vote.

    No it hasn’t, what MMP does it hands power to the committee that ranks the list at the expense of the local electorate.

    I have barely heard of Colin King but does his failure to make his mark come from his lack of ability/opportunity to hob nob with the power brokers at cocktail parties in Khandallah and Epsom rather than a lack of ability?

    Serious question


  4. homepaddock says:

    To answer your serious question: Even political tragics rarely know much, if anything, about backbenchers outside their own electorates.

    Good MPs do a lot of work for constituents and in select committees but very little of it gets in the media and that’s not enough by itself to get promotion.

    That’s up to the leader and has nothing to do with cocktail parties.

    King entered parliament with a big intake of National MPs in 2005, there were several more new MPs in 2008 and 2011 – too many for all to get promoted.

    That doesn’t mean he wasn’t, and isn’t still, effective in his electorate but obviously enough members felt someone new could do better.

    You might be interested in Gravedodger’s tribute at No Minister to which I’ve linked in an update to the post.


  5. Neil says:

    Andrei I cannot allow you to get away with the fact that MMP has done a lot to shake up local MP’s. I like the fact that our present system deals with the local and national scene.
    One problem under FPP was the tendency of all politicians to treat the MP’s job as a right for life. People stayed far too long and thought the seat was their right.
    Today I can vote for the party I like but if I don’t like my MP I can vote for someone I prefer.
    Prior to MMP in 1987 I had to vote for a National MP who was totally useless to indicate support for National. I would have voted Labor, however the Labor candidate was useless toop.


  6. Andrei says:

    Today I can vote for the party I like but if I don’t like my MP I can vote for someone I prefer.

    Yes you can but if the prat you don’t like looses his/her/its seat they can still feed at the trough by virtue of getting a seat on the list,

    It seriously pisses me off that when I have gone to the ballot box it matters not a whit which deadbeat I vote for they both will be sucking at the taxpayers teat for another three years.

    Most people I know are seriously considering sitting the next election out the options being so dire


  7. AngryTory says:

    Most people I know are seriously considering sitting the next election out the options being so dire

    Even though doing that is basically Voting for the Greens and the Maori party – in other words capitulating to communism. In a real democracy, those commies and the likes of Labour, NZFirst etc would be beyond the pale.

    But the answer is we have a damn good option: The Conservatives. GIven that ACT is as good as dead, and Key is governing to the left of Helen Clark, that’s really the only option.


  8. pdm says:

    AngryTory – the problem with the Conservatives is that they seem even more loopy than Winston Peters and his lot.


  9. Armchair Critic says:

    They only seem that way because they are.


  10. Andrei says:

    The entire Green Caucus is off the planet loopy – as is 90% of the Labour Caucus, most of whom are thoroughly unpleasant people to boot – not the sort of pewople you’ld welcome into your home at


  11. AngryTory says:

    So? How much influence did Winne actually have over Hellen Clark’s government? He was quite a good foreign minister, even if he opened a few too many embassies, although frankly I think an embassy in Stockholm is a good idea…

    But John Key’s “National” is governing to the left of Helen Clark’s Labour – there are a whole lot of decisions, from the flag on the bridge, the Tuhoe settlement, gay marriage, funding cuts to the Army & Navy that Helen would never have done – yep, defence spending went up under Helen and down in real terms under Key. And Key is paying more dollars to each bludger, to more bludgers, than ever before in NZ.

    How much worse could things get?

    More to the point, we’re talking Party Votes only for the Conservatives, looking at a National/Conservative government.

    And that really is the best outcome possible. National for economic stability, Conservatives for really going after the leftist commies in NZ!


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