National has selected Steven Joyce to stand as a candidate with a high list placing in this year's election - drawing a snipe from Prime Minister Helen Clark that it was a "reward for being part of the Hollow Men raising the money, organising the Brethren" role Mr Joyce played as campaign manager in 2005.
Steven Joyce was National's campaign manager and general manager under former leader Don Brash and is chair of the party's campaign this election, as well as standing to be an MP on the party's list.
National leader John Key yesterday welcomed Mr Joyce's decision to take the offer of a list-only selection, saying his background in business and politics made him a valuable asset for National.
Mr Joyce's experience and his standing in the party could see him put directly into a ministerial post at least at an associate level, if National forms the next government.
Mr Joyce said it gave him the chance to contribute to the party after the election, as well as before.
Mr Joyce was among those finger-pointed in Nicky Hager's Hollow Men book, which revealed Mr Joyce had met with the Exclusive Brethren and other lobby groups over controversial advertising campaigns in the 2005 election.
Prime Minister Helen Clark was scornful of Mr Joyce's selection, saying it showed the "the forces behind the Hollow Men and the new right agenda are as active as they ever were in the National Party.
"Was it not a portion of the Herald's lengthy part II (biographical feature about John Key) on Saturday, where it was put to Mr Key that really he still believed all the same far-right things but was downplaying them for other reasons? The answer to that, of course, was yes."
Mr Joyce dismissed the comments as "Labour hating everything that isn't Labour".
He said running as a list-only candidate would allow him to act as the party's campaign chairman in 2008, in which he had more of an oversight role than the hands-on work of a campaign manager.
Korean born Melissa Lee - the host of television programme Asia Downunder - has been awarded another of the five list places National reserves for list-only candidates, which it hand-picks.
Mr Key said the Asian community had an increasingly important role in New Zealand and Ms Lee would work with Pansy Wong to develop links between the party and Asian communities.
The party reserves five high list placings to allocate to candidates - a technique Mr Key has identified as a way to increase the party's diversity.
Current MP David Carter has also said he was offered one after he decided to withdraw from the controversial selection for the Selwyn seat, which takes in part of Banks Peninsula and suspended MP Brian Connell's Rakaia electorate.By Claire Trevett @CTrevettNZH Email Claire