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Muldoon's Ghost haunts Whaleoil

October 21, 2013

It’s now out in the open; the historic and bitter schism that runs right through the heart of the Auckland National Party.

On the one hand is the party establishment epitomised by people like Michelle Boag and on the other, the heirs to the group that were once called the Tamaki Mafia, best epitomised by the Slater  family.

It’s a classic insider-outside division.

And then there’s John Palino also an outsider with what is best described as a colourful reputation.

So earlier this year when he cast around looking for support to run for mayor the insiders ran away as fast as they could.

At the end of the day the insiders’ first priority is to protect and help John Key and the Government stay in power.

The insiders tend to be stereotypical Nats; comfortably off middle class conservatives. Some are snobs, more than a few went to private schools but they are generally well mannered and tend to respect the rules.

The Tamaki Mafia has its origins in the Tamaki electorate when Sir Robert Muldoon was MP and were the core of what he liked to call “Rob’s Mob”.

They were not stereotypical Nats.

Up against some of the big names of the Auckland division of the party like the Herald owning Horton family, the Tamaki Mafia were more modest people. Clem Smich had been a policeman; David Morris ran a small rental car company and John Tremewan was a Teachers’ College lecturer.

During the 70s, debates in what was then the Auckland Division of the party were evenly divided bitter affairs between the Tamaki Mafia-led supporters of Muldoon’s highly interventionist, state capitalism view of the economy and a younger free market group who looked to MPs like Jim McLay for inspiration and party leaders like Sue Wood.

Over those years Ms Boag acted as a sort of party whip for the free market group.

However during the 80s, John Slater – father of Whaleoil --- became Auckland Divisional Chairman and then in 2001 after the 1998 defeat went on to chair the party as a whole.

But, and this is the key to much of what is happening now, the free marketers struck back. First Ms Boag rolled Mr Slater in 2001 to take over the presidency.

And then with her encouragement, caucus elected the right wing Don Brash as leader in 2003.

The Slaters and some of their close supporters and what was left of the Tamaki Mafia retired hurt but bitter and from what we can see now, plainly bent on revenge.

It was an odd grouping.

John  Slater  had not been part of the Tamaki Mafia in its hey day. Indeed he was were very much party establishment.

But after Boag rolled him, he obviously felt excluded from the party's inner core.

In a post on Sunday on Kiwiblog, Cameron “Whaleoil” Slater, discussing the Brown/Palino affair said: “Hamish (Price, MP Nicky Kaye’s Campaign Manager) is the unnamed National party source…a man closely connected to Michelle Boag and someone who hates me, my father and anyone connected to us.

“If Bevan Chuang thought that she was manipulated by Luigi Wewege then she ain’t seen nothing yet as the Boag/Price machine ramps up the smears.

“There is a good chance that we now know the identity of the mystery texter now too…and then the pieces all fit together. “

Now remember, these people are all supporters of the same political party.

It is abundantly clear from what we have seen as we have poured our way through literally hundreds of text and Facebook messages and pictures, and talked to the participants that the Slater group genuinely believe what Cameron said on “The Nation” on Saturday discussing the future of Auckland politics.

“Auckland politics is the same as where any politics is, in that it's a dirty disgusting despicable game, and it involves dirty disgusting despicable people at all levels,” he said.

“And to have this high and mighty belief that New Zealand politics is clean, it isn't.”

That should be enough to send a shiver through the Beehive.

Simply the National Party now has a group of its supporters who give every appearance of going rogue.

Maybe that’s why one source has suggested to us that it was actually a National MP who first led to Len Brown being tipped off the week before the Council election that a major sex scandal was going to break.

Other sources tell us that senior Nats who are in the loop have been tipping associates of the Mayor off as to what might come next.

You get the picture from Michelle Boag this weekend on “Q+A”. 

“Whatever was going on with John Palino and the Slaters is nothing to do with the National Party.”   

If people like Michelle Boag have decided that Cameron Slater is toxic --- and she probably concluded that a while ago, the next question will be whether his supporters in Parliament, particularly Judith Collins and Maurice Williamson also decide to put some distance between themselves and him.

If they do, that will be a signal that the  heirs to the Tamaki Mafia have taken a big hit.

If they don’t then National’s civil war in Auckland will continue to smoulder away in the background ready to flare at any moment that Whaleoil decides.









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Add a comment16 Comments

Reply Cameron Slater | October 21st, 2013 at 5:24pm
That's be funny if you just didn't get everything wrong in the first paragraph.

The Tamaki Mafia was run by Robs mob and NEVER involved my included John Tremewen and Michelle Boag...

Dad FOUGHT the Tamaki Mafia...not part of it...your post is highly confused Richard...perhaps time is catching up on you. The selection involving David Kirk was Dad vs Tamaki Mafia...Simich won...the Tamaki mafia retained a fool for an seem to be very confused

Now you just look silly...
Reply Dan Bartlett | October 22nd, 2013 at 12:17pm
Dear Cameron,

Your blog, media appearances, and indeed your entire persona, is just satire, right?

I must admit, it's very clever: playing an exaggerated version a hypocritical, tax-payer funded, right-wing bully, in order to satirise all of the horrible, Thatcherite, welfare-bashing, scumbags out there.

And I must admit, you really take it to the next level in your drive to inhabit the role, 'cause, I mean, no-one in their right mind would openly bash beneficiaries whilst receiving a sickness-benefit, right? Right? Method. Respect. Stanislavski would be proud.

Best wishes,

Reply Anne | October 22nd, 2013 at 6:48pm
Shouldn't that be 'time is catching up with you'?
Reply jb | October 21st, 2013 at 6:00pm
"As we have poured our way through..."
Glass half-empty or half-full?
Reply Richard Harman (Author) | October 21st, 2013 at 7:49pm
I have ammended this post to take acocunt of Cameron's comments. The main point, however remains the same.
Reply Cameron Slater | October 21st, 2013 at 9:34pm
Actually the point remains tenuous at best Richard...there are no factions, only bitter people like Boag and Price.

When a long time journalist like yourself gets basic facts wrong in a piece designed to make a point the point fails.

At least now we know where you get all your documents about Simon Lusk from, the same source of the hundreds of pages you claim now.

And you will have seen in all of those pages not a single mention of any affair...because Ms Chuang never told anyone of that until Monday after the election.

You can manufacture a war inside national if you want but you will just look silly in the you do on this post.
Reply framu | October 22nd, 2013 at 10:12am
pretty sure your the one looking silly here slater. And, i wouldnt be pointing fingers and throwing accusations about morals, ethics or truth if i was you.

You have a very well earned rep as a immoral bottom feeder and liar

no factions in national HA HA HA - good god man - do you want a spade for that hole your digging?
Reply Geoff Lealand | October 21st, 2013 at 11:05pm
Most of us are happy sitting up in the back seats, watching this nasty bunch of rogues tearing each other's throats out.
Reply Gaynor | October 21st, 2013 at 11:39pm
I have read everything on a lot of news sites , a lot of blogs and on a lot of tv My conclusion is that Cameron Slater talks more truth than anyone. The days when the msm controlled the news are gone , trouble is they haven't realised it yet . Keep up the good work Cam and a hex on all you people who try to hide the truth.
Reply Matthew | October 22nd, 2013 at 10:07am
"When a long time journalist like yourself gets basic facts wrong in a piece designed to make a point the point fails."

This is just a silly point Slater. It's like pointing out a spelling mistake and then refusing to listen to the argument.
Reply John Hutcheson | October 22nd, 2013 at 6:43pm
Ha-haaa. And thy whine about division the Labour Party.
Reply David MacGregor | October 22nd, 2013 at 9:37pm
"And then there’s John Palino also an outsider with what is best described as a colourful reputation."
What does that mean? Seems a bit 'are you still beating your wife?"
Reply Win | October 23rd, 2013 at 8:23am
We just have to take Slater's word for it I guess that things happened as he says they did because he doesn't lie........Or does he?
Reply David Morris | November 4th, 2013 at 11:09pm
Does a flatfish lie?
Reply David Morris | October 27th, 2013 at 3:49pm
Richard . . . how the hell did you get this so wrong? As a proud card-carrying member of the Tamiki Mafia I can assure you John Slater was never a member of that group.

Indeed oft times we were at war with him.

Particularly over the selection and by-election for the Tamaki seat after Rob Muldioon's retirement.

Slater wanted David Kirk as the candidate. Which showed a great deal of political ineptitude. He, Kirk and Boag came up against a highly organised and politically savvy local team backing a popular, high-profile local candidate, Clem Simich. Slater, Kirk and co were doomed from the outset.

(And Cameron Slater - your comment about Simich being a fool is a gratuitous insult to a man who, in four years, did a five year double degree course in law and arts while holding down a senior full ime job with a high profile public company. Remind me again about your academic qualifications?)

The worst of it was that as a result Slater and others went septic on the campaign and at one stage demanded that we abandon our campaign because we were going to lose and henceforth should focus on limiting damage to the government.

He was told in no uncertain terms to go to hell.

We won.

After that Slater and others, including Boag, went on a witch hunt and had every one of the Tamaki team fired or deposed.

As an outsider looking in on the Palino campaign I concluded that it was run by clowns - and that was before I knew Slater senior was the campaign manager.

It was like Palino didn't really want to win - he simply went missing in action. His whole campaign was a pale shadow of a serious political fight.
Reply Penny Bright | October 31st, 2013 at 7:16pm
"And you will have seen in all of those pages not a single mention of any affair...because Ms Chuang never told anyone of that until Monday after the election."

But did Luigi Wewege tell anyone, especially YOU Cameron, about Bevan Chuang's affair with Mayor Len Brown, before the Monday after the election?

I think he did.

A clever bit of spin - but not clever enough?

Kind regards,

Penny Bright
'Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation campaigner'
2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

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