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Gardiner Rejected By National

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 1 NZPA - High profile candidate Wira Gardiner has missed out on a place on the National Party board of directors.

Delegates at the National Party conference today chose from eight candidates to fill five of the vacancies and Mr Gardiner came sixth.

The board is made up of Prime Minister John Key, one caucus representative, the party's general manager and seven elected members.

There were five vacancies among the elected members with eight people seeking the nomination.

The top polling candidate was Auckland lawyer and chief executive of the Make a Wish Foundation, Scott Simpson.

Mr Simpson was seeking re-election.

Also elected were Alastair Bell, Kate Hazlett, Grant McCallum and Pat Seymour.

Mr Gardiner had run a very profile campaign, but National delegates say this may have back-fired on him.

Some were also concerned that his wife, Hekia Parata, was a sitting MP and that this may have represented a conflict of interest.

It was announced today that Mr Gardiner was accepting a knighthood that came with the DCNZM he was awarded in 2008.

Wira Gardiner served as lieutenant colonel in the army, and helped set up the Maori Development Ministry and the Waitangi Tribunal.

He parted ways with the National Party in 2005 when then leader Don Brash launched his Iwi/Kiwi campaign.

Mr Gardiner returned to the party and had been considered by many to be a certainty for the board and a possibility for president.

Tomorrow the board meets and elects a president from within its membership.

NZPA PAR il mgr

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