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Key Says New Party President Has His And Board's Confidence

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 25 NZPA - Newly elected National Party president Peter Goodfellow fronted journalists today, saying he accepted a cloud had hung over his first weeks in the job.

He thought that was "to do with the end of my marriage".

He said he had told Mr Key about issues in his personal life, after being elected president at the party's conference this month.

"My personal life is my personal life and I don't believe there is anything in my personal life that affects my ability to be president," he told reporters.

He asked media to respect that and said he there had been no pressure to step down.

"Look, we've got a lot of work to do to focus on the 2011 election. I think we should get on with the job. Business as usual."

Mr Key stood by Mr Goodfellow as he answered questions before going into this morning's caucus meeting.

"I am confident that Peter enjoys the confidence of the board and he is going to do a fine job as president and I am looking forward to working closely with him," Mr Key said.

"There's always scuttlebutt in politics but the reality is the president enjoys the confidence of the board and he's here today..."

Mr Key said most people made "the odd mistake" in their personal lives and the public was accepting of that.

"Peter has my full confidence I am looking forward to working with him.

"There's nothing I've ever seen or am aware of that would preclude him from being president of the National Party or an office holder of the National Party and I think it's business as normal."

Mr Goodfellow said he had been working with the board and party headquarters to prepare for next Monday's board meeting and the work programme ahead.

The Auckland businessman replaced Judy Kirk, who was president for seven years.

He has had a long involvement with National, holding positions such as chair of Auckland Young Nationals, chair of Northern Region Communications Committee and chair of the North Shore Campaign Committee.

National's board elects the party's president from within its own members. Mr Goodfellow was a sitting member.

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