National Party president Peter Goodfellow retires after 13 years

Peter Goodfellow’s “continued presence at board level presents a problem for Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon, who is rumoured to have wanted him gone for some time”, Janet Wilson writes.
Chris McKeen/Stuff/Stuff
Peter Goodfellow’s “continued presence at board level presents a problem for Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon, who is rumoured to have wanted him gone for some time”, Janet Wilson writes.

National Party president Peter Goodfellow will retire from the party’s top job outside Parliament, after more than a decade.

National announced on Thursday morning that Goodfellow would not seek re-election at the party’s coming annual conference, though he would remain a director on the party’s board for another term.

Goodfellow was re-elected to the party’s presidency, a leading position in the party’s apparatus outside of Parliament, in August 2021 amid some controversy.

National, under leader Judith Collins at the time, had been struggling to lift its polling after a resounding defeat in the 2020 election. Discontent within the party spread to Goodfellow’s role in its difficulties, and was aired publicly by former senior MP David Carter.

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Goodfellow had served as party president during the John Key government.

“I’ve seen highs and lows, and after much reflection, I feel the time is now right for someone else to take National into the future as president,” Goodfellow said on Thursday.

He said he had intended to retire in 2016 but with former prime minister John Key resigning, “I was convinced to remain in the role to help ensure a stable transition of leadership”.

“Since 2018 I’ve worked tirelessly to help improve and diversify the skill set around our board table. To revitalise and reform the party and its systems, and to unite our great party after a very public period of instability and distraction.”

He said National was now “going from strength to strength”.

National Party leader Christopher Luxon said Goodfellow had made an “immense contribution” to the party, including during a recent “reset” of the party.

“Peter now feels it is a good time to stand down as president given the party’s renewal has been completed with a new leadership team established, the caucus unified, and a refreshed team of political and campaign staff in place.”