By BERNARD ORSMAN and ALAN PERROTT



The National Party's drive to get rid of its old-guard MPs is heading for a local political brawl in the safe National seat of Clevedon.



Warren Kyd is the latest National MP fighting for his political life after long-serving MP Brian Neeson missed the candidacy for the new Helensville seat.



Judith Collins, a Remuera lawyer, will challenge Mr Kyd on Sunday for the party nomination.

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She plans to set up home in the electorate if she wins.



Party sources are divided on whether Mr Kyd will be dumped after 15 years as an MP in rural South Auckland.



A senior National Party source in Auckland said Mr Kyd was in trouble and should have taken the pointer from Mr Neeson's experience and called it quits at this election.



"Warren has done his local job very well, but he hasn't been a huge political force in Parliament."



John Key, a retired 40-year-old foreign exchange dealer, ousted Mr Neeson, a long-serving MP, for the Helensville candidacy at a bitter contest in March.



Mr Neeson yesterday predicted that Mr Kyd would be the next victim in a cleanout, which began when Michelle Boag won the party presidency saying National needed to bring in new talent and weed out the old.



But party sources said Mr Kyd, who has been in Parliament since 1987 and had a 5195-vote majority in 1999, was always considered to be vulnerable to a challenge.



Ms Collins, who has been a party member for three years, has said previously that Ms Boag did not ask her to stand.



Mr Neeson said the party had begun to "look like the board of Fay, Richwhite", for which Ms Boag used to work.



"I feel very sorry for the party, which is now becoming an elite group of people who are using the masses for their own ends."



Mr Kyd was upset by a draft party list published in last Friday's National Business Review, which placed Ms Collins in 16th spot, "having won selection over existing MP Warren Kyd".



He later urged local people to resist the efforts of "a manipulator or manipulators on high" to unseat him.



The draft list, dubbed "Michelle's Whiteboard", has upset many sitting MPs who have been positioned below such big names as former Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash, ranked number 11 on the list, and former party president Sue Wood at 13.



Ms Boag dismissed the list as "utter rubbish" and said it must have been put together by someone whose intent was malicious.



She also rejected accusations that the party was starting to resemble the board of Fay, Richwhite, saying the aim was to produce the best possible future government.



The voters of Clevedon were yesterday nonplussed by the National Party's internal wrangling, but expressed sympathy for Mr Kyd.



Once Clevedon resident Mandy McKee remembered who Warren Kyd was, she said there should be a place for experience in Parliament.



"His age doesn't worry me. I'm not very politically minded, but age doesn't seem like a good reason to get rid of anyone."



WARREN KYD


Age:

62, former lawyer.


Married

, four adult children.


Elected

in 1987.


Represented

Clevedon, Hauraki, Hunua as boundaries changed. No ministerial posts.


Parliamentary Under-Secretary

to Ministers of Commerce, Industry, State-Owned Enterprises and Labour (1993-1996).


Chaired commerce select committee (1996-1999).
Spokesman for small business, manufacturing, statistics and compliance costs.

JUDITH COLLINS

Age: 43
Married, 9-year-old son.
Job: lawyer.
Roles: Casino Control Authority chairwoman since 1999. Housing New Zealand director (1999-2001). Auckland District Law Society president (1998-1999). Chairwoman of Savoy Equities (1998-2000).
Interests: Watching rugby and netball, walking, tennis, cinema, reading, current affairs and politics.