Kate Hawkesby: Is Alfred Ngaro National's saviour?

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Monday, 20 May 2019, 8:22AM
Alfred Ngaro, could he be the answer? National's salvation?
Alfred Ngaro, could he be the answer? National's salvation?

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that National is trying to find friends - they need them.

A decent Conservative party to do a potential deal with just hasn't reared its head yet, so is this the one?

Alfred Ngaro, could he be the answer? National's salvation? The gamble though, with Christian parties is always, well...how nuts will they be?

There's a lot going against them. History for a start. We don't need to cast our minds back far, Colin Craig, Graham Capill...I rest my case.

Then there's your Christian reputation issue, which has been trashed by noisy fringe dwellers like Brian Tamaki.

If that doesn't put people off, add into the mix the times we're living in. Look what's been an assault on sensibilities globally for many decent fair-minded voters - Christian ones included. The advent of exclusion as peddled by Trump, anti-women abortion reform.

Closer to home we've had cases like Israel Folau's anti-homosexuality polluting the Christian voting pond.

All these extreme edge Christian stances, do nothing to serve a sensible broader minded Christian voting base. All it does is put people off.

Why is it the extremist end of Christianity is always the one trying to inject itself into the political landscape?

But now there's Ngaro. He actually seems quite normal. A good speaker and he seems sane.

He may just be the right fit for a Conservative party which can potentially grab a wider base of conservative Christian voters.

Given he's a National man, he's unlikely to rock the boat or cause too many ructions politically. He knows the game and seems too polite to go rogue.

But is this all a little too late given the high the Government is on, which shows no sign of abating anytime soon. Given Jacinda Ardern, at this stage, remains untouchable and given we vote for leaders, not parties.

Yes, a lot can change in a year, but a hell of a lot would need to go wrong between now and 2020 for the love affair with Ardern to wear off.

The Kiwibuild flop, the fees-free flop, the disillusioned teachers and the shambolic DHB’s, still don’t appear to be denting the Government’s shine thus far.

There is much water to go under the bridge yet, which, speaking of bridges, may be another more pertinent problem for National to solve, between now and next year.

But if Ngaro can get up and running, and not surround himself with too many nutters, if he can bat away the devout fringe extremists who'll no doubt want to join him, and if he can maintain a moderate conservative voice, he may just be the BFF National needs.

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