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Brash: Non-Performing CEOs Get Replaced

Dr Don Brash, Member of Parliament, New Zealand National Party

In advance of tomorrow morning’s crucial Caucus meeting, Don Brash has restated his key reasons for challenging Bill English’s leadership of the New Zealand National Party:

Don Brash believes that the National Party is going nowhere. “It is no further ahead than it was at the last election and there is no real prospect of change under the present leadership regime.”

He believes that effective leadership is his point of difference with Bill English. “Leadership polling is consistently under 10%. Two years into his leadership, this is simply untenable for a party of National’s standing. When the Chief Executive of an organisation isn’t taking the organisation forward, then you have to change the CEO. It’s that simple.”

Don Brash says that strong leadership in the party has been “absent” for some time now and that this lack of clear direction cannot be allowed to continue. “The National Party needs fresh momentum and until we have a strong Opposition to fight the next election, New Zealand will continue to drift downward under the Labour minority government.”

Don Brash also believes that the party needs to focus on its core values and “reconnect” with business. “It is important for National to remain true to the provincial and rural heartland which has supported National through thick and thin for many years. It is equally important, however, for National to gain solid ground in Auckland, which has so much influence on economic growth, job creation and opportunities for the rest of New Zealand.”

He believes that a National Party leader based in the Auckland area would also do much to assist the party in rebuilding its credibility and support from the New Zealand business community.

Don Brash again restates that he will resign from the front bench if he loses tomorrow’s Caucus vote. This comes after recent reports that Bill English may well seek him to remain National’s finance spokesman. He says that it is not a threat “it is just plain common sense.” “It would be unfair to Bill, to me and to the party if I remained as his right-hand man when I quite clearly see such major deficiencies in ability to lead National back into government.” Don Brash also dismisses suggestions that he lacks the political experience to lead National into government. “Thirty years at the highest levels of both the public and private sectors has given me an exceptionally good understanding of the political environment. What National needs now, more than ever before, is credible leadership.”

Don Brash says that there is “no soft option” for National and it is time that the party “got real” about its future and its chances at the next election. “Formulating and clearly articulating good policy that resonates with large numbers of New Zealanders has to be the primary focus for the National Party from this point forward.”

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