Revealed: National's secret Mt Roskill candidate selection
Newshub can reveal National list MP Parmjeet Parmar has been selected as the party's candidate in the Mount Roskill by-election, despite nominations still being open.
Hoardings with Dr Parmar's name and photo have already been printed and a $2500-a-table fundraiser with Prime Minister John Key at Eden Park with her name splashed all over it is being circulated within the National Party.
But publicly National is pretending that its candidate hasn't been decided and that it will make an announcement on Facebook after a board meeting tomorrow.
The decision to select Dr Parmar has been made in secret and without the party going through its full process.
Senior party figures say there's still time for potential candidates to nominate themselves, with National Party President Peter Goodfellow, General Manager Greg Hamilton, and Northern Regional Chair Andrew Hunt saying nominations for the candidacy are still open.
Nominations close at midday tomorrow and a candidate will be formally announced after the board has time to consider those applications.
However, documents obtained by Newshub show the party is organising a by-election fundraising dinner for Dr Parmar.
The invite was sent out to National Party members at 3.58pm on Monday afternoon on behalf of "The Mount Roskill electorate and Parmjeet Parmar" to attend a dinner with John Key at Eden Park.
Mr Goodfellow said sending the invite out with Dr Parmar's name on it was a matter of timing.
"It's only two weeks away, so this is quite a compressed timetable for us," he said.
"We've only got two weeks to get people organised for it. We'll send out a reminder once the candidate is selected and that's a good opportunity to remind people that they can come along and support the new candidate."
The fundraising dinner will be hosted by Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett, costing $250 a head.
In return for that $250 you get dinner, an "opportunity to meet and dine with senior National party members" plus there'll be an auction.
When asked why the party didn't just wait an extra two days for a candidate to be announced before sending out an invite - he said there's no limit to fundraising dinners.
"We'll do another one once we have a candidate."
But Dr Parmar was the only candidate that had expressed interest in contesting the seat to Mr Goodfellow.
"Nominations haven't closed yet, but she is the only one that's indicated to me that she's interested. That doesn't mean there might not be other applicants."