The imminent resignation of National Party president Peter Goodfellow marks a significant shift in the party leadership, after years of triumph and of great turmoil.
As National's longest-serving president, it is well past time for him to exit the building, but he has still found a way to maintain a position of influence. His current term as a director was due to run out this year, but unchallenged, he'll stay on the board for another three-year term "to assist in the transition".
Had Goodfellow signalled his intent earlier, it would have allowed a new challenger to put their hand up to join the board and even contest the presidency, but that is now too late. Nominations for board positions closed two days ago, and only board members who are not MPs can run for president.
He had a name as an effective fundraiser but has more recently been criticised for being at the helm during controversies caused by bad behaviour of both MPs and candidates, raising serious questions about the culture of the party and even whether it was providing a safe workplace.
Former Speaker and Cabinet Minister David Carter went public with his angry criticism of Goodfellow after Carter failed to oust him last year, quitting the board in disgust and saying he had "zero confidence" in him as president.
Goodfellow had outstayed his welcome in Carter's view, citing the party's post-election review which he says highlighted two problems in particular.
"One was the dysfunction of the governance of the party and a lack of money to run a suitable campaign. Neither of those things change whilst Mr Goodfellow remains president of the New Zealand National Party," Carter said at the 2021 annual conference.
Goodfellow also took some responsibility for National's 2020 election trouncing, telling RNZ after his controversial re-election the following year that he and the leadership team had already done "a lot of work around constitutional changes" and the board would "continue to build on the base".
Another controversy, far from over, is the upcoming High Court trial featuring both National and Labour that will lay bare the fundraising practices of the political parties on the hunt for donations.
The links to National are the criminal charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office against former MP and party whip Jami-Lee Ross, related to conduct during his time as an MP, and while Goodfellow was president. While no current MPs or board members were charged, the case will give an inside look into party activities and its senior figures - not all of it will be pretty.
The shenanigans of the caucus in recent years, and at times party candidates, have also drawn into question the very culture and values of National; not just driven by the leader of the parliamentary wing, but also the president. They run the party side of things, the nuts and bolts if you will: fundraising, membership, candidate selection, running campaigns and setting the rules - including for elected members.
The fallout from the Jami-Lee Ross controversy not only led to the SFO investigation but painted the party in an incredibly bad light, worsened by a subsequent series of scandals - including the leaking of personal details of Covid patients and two incidents of texting or using social media to send explicit sexual material.
An independent review of party culture was launched, which ended up as a "health and safety" review. While it made recommendations for internal changes, it shed little light on what had actually happened and did little to restore public confidence in the leadership.
In a statement announcing his resignation as president at the next AGM, Goodfellow says he was persuaded to stay on after John Key's resignation in 2016 to help "ensure a stable transition".
His parting words were that the National Party is "going from strength to strength", with "real momentum" under the current leadership.
"I'm confident we have the right people, processes, and plans in place to move the National Party forward, and I have every confidence National will win the 2023 general election," Goodfellow said.
Party leader Christopher Luxon farewelled Goodfellow by saying he has given a "stellar amount of service to the party" and paying tribute to changes made under his watch.
"He's obviously been through some great eras under John Key and Bill English, he's also been through some more challenging times and importantly a big part of the reset over the last six months," said Luxon.
In a time of "renewal, it's time to renew the presidency", Luxon said when asked whether change was overdue. He said Goodfellow "offered great service and leaves us in good shape".
The lack of diversity within the caucus - partly due to candidate selection but made worse by the 2020 election loss - is another legacy of Goodfellow's time and should be a key focus for whoever replaces him.