There was not much hoopla about it, but in August Peter Goodfellow became the National Party's longest-serving president.
There was no hoopla about it because even Goodfellow did not realise he had hit the mark. The NZ Herald broke the good news to him this week.
The low-key Goodfellow has been a steady figure in the background through some turbulent times in the party since he took the job in 2009, serving alongside five leaders – the last three of them in rather quick succession.
Sir Alex McKenzie served 11 years as president in the 1950s, but Goodfellow has now pipped him by a few months.
That reign could end today when he will again be up for re-election to the party's board, and then a board vote on who should be president.
Most consider the strongest challenge to his role will come from recently retired MP David Carter, who is also contesting a board slot.
Goodfellow took over from Judy Kirk as president in 2009, a year after Sir John Key became Prime Minister.
Since he took the job in 2009, he has stuck with it through disruptions in his own private life as well as the National Party's implosions – including the furore unleashed by Jami-Lee Ross in 2019, and the two leadership changes of 2020 from Simon Bridges to Todd Muller to Judith Collins.
The good times are not hard to pick: the period throughout the Key Government, when support and funds were easy to get.
Asked what the worst of the bad times was, Goodfellow does not hesitate to pick the Jami-Lee Ross disaster of 2019, when Ross levelled accusations about donations to the National Party and released tapes of conversations between himself and then leader Bridges.
Goodfellow had to defend National's handling of donations, something he said the party was scrupulous about. "We do not mess around with electoral laws."
Ross is now facing charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office, along with two donors. It was, Goodfellow says, "the massive breach of trust" that affected him the most.
Goodfellow is one of Auckland's "aristocrats" – an heir of the Goodfellow family, which built its fortune in farming, and later moved into fishing, finance and clothing investments.
He is well-connected but prefers a low profile for himself, rarely taking the limelight although he often appears in the society pages on the arm of his wife, Auckland city councillor Desley Simpson, who he married in 2014.
"I'm a husband of Instagram," he quips.
The start of his presidency was marred by attempts to discredit him because of his personal life.
Goodfellow was wrestling with the fallout of his broken marriage at the time, an acrimonious and protracted split.
He was also in a new relationship with Simpson, whose ex-husband was current National MP Scott Simpson. Scott Simpson was on the board with Goodfellow in 2009, although he and Desley had split some years earlier.
Key offered his full backing to Goodfellow throughout that period, and says he never once doubted Goodfellow's character. The furore died out eventually.
Some had thought Goodfellow would retire from the presidency after the halcyon days of the Key Government.
Key himself said he was a little bit surprised Goodfellow had decided to stay in the job for so long.
"It's a massive amount of time, energy and effort. If you put it all together it is a quasi-fulltime job.
He doesn't need it. He does it because he loves being part of it all, and he's been very successful."
Asked why he had stayed on, Goodfellow said it was not about the leader.
"The party is bigger than John Key, and I joined the board before John Key when Don Brash was leader.
The political wing and party wing are distinct. When the bond between the two is strong, then the party is strong."
Goodfellow is almost painfully self-effacing.
Asked why he deserved to stay on the board, he says he would prefer it if others spoke on that.
Blowing his own trumpet does not come naturally to him.
"I don't see re-election if I'm re-elected to the board as any sort of reward. I'm standing because I firmly believe we need continuity to rebuild."
Others are willing to speak on it, however. He is described as "unflappable" by many.
"He seems to be timeless. He always looks the same," says Key now of Goodfellow, who does indeed seem to age more slowly than most.
The biggest change in him between 2009 and 2020 is that he has lost the moustache.
Key will not make a pick on the president himself, but says the ability to raise money and keep the party organisation running efficiently were critical.
"And Peter has been highly effective at doing both for a long period of time. He has a very high work rate, and the fundraising efforts did not just happen in an election year. It is a three-year effort, and he was highly effective at it.
"He's very credible in the board room, and in front of influential donors."
He said Goodfellow was also good at staying in the background.
"He's been in the perfect mould of a president. We've had other presidents who have been a bit more colourful, but that isn't what you want. You need someone who is behind the scenes, but has authority.
"You don't want a president that gets out in front of the leader, and Peter doesn't do that."
One time when Goodfellow did hit the headlines was after the 2017 election, when he spoke to the National Party conference about NZ First's decision to side with Labour over National.
Goodfellow quipped that National had "dodged a whisky-swilling, cigarette-smoking, double-breasted and irrational bullet" - a jab at Winston Peters.
The leader then was Bridges, who said he would be backing Goodfellow in the board elections – and hoped the new board would also select Goodfellow to stay on as president.
"I couldn't offer any criticism of him around the various travails we faced when I was leader."
Goodfellow's qualifications for the job were "time and money."
"Peter has been the president for more than a decade and I don't think people would understand the huge amount of time that is required for that. He's given that very generously. He's been the number one fundraiser for National in that time."
He said Goodfellow was also good company socially. "He's a lot of fun. I don't think people would have a sense of that."
National Party leader Judith Collins will have a vote on the president's role because the party leader is also a board member. However, she is keeping her cards close to her chest. Her Papakura electorate has put up Grant McCallum for the board, but Collins will not say who she supports.
She said it would be "a bit harsh" if Goodfellow copped the blame for the election result.
She also points to his fundraising experience as valuable for the party.
Supporters of Goodfellow fear he will end up being a scapegoat for the election result.
Those hoping for a change have pointed to problems in the candidate selection processes, and a mishandling of the Auckland Central selection, saying new blood is needed.
Those supporting Goodfellow argue he remains the best option for the party, not only for stability but for his ability to fundraise. They argue none of the other candidates have the experience or energy Goodfellow offers.
They also argue fundraising is easier for someone who is plugged into Auckland, since that is where the money is.
Fundraising was harder than usual in 2020. Covid-19 meant the usual big fundraising dinners could not happen, but Goodfellow says they managed to raise enough to run an "uncompromised" campaign.
That job is always harder when a party is in Opposition. Donation returns for the election year will not be released until next year, but National declared very few large donations compared to its usual haul over the past year.
It reflected discontent among donors about National's handling of itself, and the low likelihood it would take the Government benches.
There was also possibly a chilling effect on donors from the various Serious Fraud Office probes and charges into donations.
Goodfellow's first years in the role were very different to Judy Kirk's after 2002.
Kirk, along with Steven Joyce, re-designed the party and created the board structure that Goodfellow inherited.
The first poll to emerge after Kirk took over had National at just 18 per cent and Kirk's first president's speeches encouraged the party not to lose heart, that not all was lost.
In the early polls of Goodfellow's reign, National was around the 50 per cent mark. He spent his first years warning party supporters against complacency as National basked in high polling.
Whoever is the next president will face the same challenge as Kirk of rebuilding the party after it got its worse result since 2002 in the last election. It is, as Goodfellow says, far from a "reward".