Former Treasury head No 5 on Act party list

By Audrey Young

Former Treasury secretary Graham Scott has been recruited to stand on the Act Party list at the election but a bid to attract former Auckland mayor John Banks has failed because of the internal upheaval it may have caused.

Mr Banks was "not available for selection", party president Catherine Judd said in Auckland yesterday.

She met Mr Banks over the weekend but it is believed that among the reasons he did not put his name forward was that leader Rodney Hide was resistant.

Sources suggested that Mr Hide might even have gone so far as to have resigned had Mr Banks been given a list placing at No 2 or 3.

For the past two elections Act has imported a "star" - Stephen Franks in 1999 when he was a high-flying lawyer; and in 2002 award-winning journalist Deborah Coddington.

Mr Banks, a former National minister, said yesterday he thought the party was "quite keen for me to join the team".

But he had decided some weeks ago he wanted to "keep the space available for, maybe a rerun at the Auckland mayoralty".

First-term MP Heather Roy has had a huge promotion from her ninth ranking last election to second this time, an acknowledgment of her singleminded focus on policy as health spokeswoman.

She is ranked ahead of deputy leader Muriel Newman on No 3.

There is a precedent for the deputy not being placed at No 2: the deputy at the time of the last election, Ken Shirley, was bumped down to No 7.

This time he has been given place No 6, which assures him of being returned to Parliament if the party makes the five per cent threshold - it has been polling between 2 and 3 per cent since the last election. Rural affairs spokesman Gerry Eckhoff is surprisingly the last ranked MP at No 8, behind the low-impact newcomer Kenneth Wang who was next in from the list when Donna Awatere-Huata was deemed to have resigned from Parliament under provisions of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill.

The party has two retiring MPs, former leader Richard Prebble, who was replaced by Mr Hide in June last year, and Deborah Coddington, who fell from grace after publicity over her former de facto husband Alister Taylor and a former relationship with Business Roundtable chief executive Roger Kerr.

Mr Hide said Mr Wang's placement showed Act's commitment to representing Asian New Zealanders in Parliament.

Dr Scott was secretary to the Treasury from 1986 to 1993. He returned to the headlines in October last year when his daughter Carla died tragically at Arthurs Pass.

The list ranking follows reports last week that some party members were so disgruntled with Mr Hide's scandal-mongering style that Mr Shirley had been approached to mount a coup. Mr Shirley pledged his support to the Act leadership on Friday.

Act's list

1 HIDE, Rodney

2 ROY, Heather

3 NEWMAN, Muriel

4 FRANKS, Stephen

5 SCOTT, Graham

6 SHIRLEY, Ken

7 WANG, Kenneth

8 ECKHOFF, Gerry

9 MITCHELL, Lindsay

10 JACOBSEN, Bronny

11 EWING-JARVIE, Simon

12 GILES, Jo

13 MARTIN, Willie

14 OLSEN, David

15 STEVENS, Hamish

16 JOLLANDS, Andrew

17 BRAR, Hardev Singh

18 BELTOWSKI, Lech

19 BEKER, Ian Alexander

20 BROWN, Christopher

21 GILL, Kevin

22 WAUGH, John

23 DAWSON, Dianne

24 MURRAY, Kevin

25 LANGFORD-TEBBY, Stephen

26 MIDDLETON, Gavin

27 FRASER, John Cameron

28 DENZ, Frances

29 BARKLA, Elizabeth

30 CHETTY, Nigel

31 CLUNE, Scott

32 COLLINS, Michael

33 EMILE, Tetauru

34 FALLOON, Andrew

35 HEINE, Mike

36 O'CONNOR, Kerry

37 SEYMOUR, David

38 SIMPSON, Helen

39 WHITE, PJ

40 WILDEN, Alan

41 STONE, Andrew

42 STEINIJANS, Barbara

43 RIDDELL, John

44 PETERSON, Carl

45 PETERS, John

46 PEPPER, Julie

47 McCLELLAND, Tom

48 MANN, Alex

49 LORENZ, Michelle

50 KEARNEY, Nigel

51 KEARNEY, Nick

52 DAVIES, Mark

53 COX, Stephen Peter

54 BASSETT, Ray

55 DAVIDSON, Brian

56 HOLDAWAY, Rebekah

57 MARSHALL, Shirley

58 O'SULLIVAN, Pat

59 MALLETT, Garry B

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