Tracey Martin – the power behind the throne

Yesterday, with the news that Andrew Williams has fallen from 3rd to 13th on the draft NZ First party list, I wrote:

Williams would like to know what the selection committee’s criteria were for selecting the top ten candidates. That’s a question answered by David Farrar at Kiwiblog:

“Have spoken to someone close to NZ First and they say that the sole criteria for list ranking is total devotion and loyalty to Winston, so in that context the list makes sense!”

Perhaps others with rather more of a finger on the pulse of NZ First gossip will know what Andrew Williams has done to so upset Mr Peters. It’s a mystery to me…

Well, today, Mr Williams continues to take the feud public, blaming deputy leader Tracey Martin:

New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams has blamed his low list ranking on a clash with the party’s deputy leader, saying she sees him as a threat and wants him “removed”.

The first-term list MP said the party’s No 2, Tracey Martin, and party president Anne Martin, Tracey’s mother, were responsible for his demotion in the rankings.

He said he had clashed with Tracey Martin ever since she became deputy ahead of him a year ago.

So, in Mr Williams’ mind, this is a fight to the death with Tracey Martin over succession. Ms Martin wants the leadership once Winston Peters retires, and Williams is the biggest threat. Which would make the possible resurrection of Ron Marks even more interesting, given the suggestion by myself and others that he might be Peters’ candidate for eventual successor. If Martin has nixed Williams, will she then take aim at Marks?

Nonetheless, I think there must be more to Williams’ reported demotion than simply a clash with Martin. The NZ First List Ranking Committee includes (along with Tracey Martin and her mother) Winston Peters, and the party’s vice-presidents and directors. I find it difficult to believe that Ms Martin and her mother would be able to engineer the eradication of Mr Williams without the approval of Peters.

So the question remains: What did Andrew Williams do to make such an enemy of Winston?

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