Election 2023: Allegations of dirty politics in National candidate selection as parties set to kick off political year

Hold onto your hoardings, the political year - an election year - is about to get underway. 

In a funny scheduling coincidence, both Labour's Jacinda Ardern and National's Christopher Luxon have hauled their MPs to the same city on the same day for their new year retreat. 

Both National and Labour have decided to ring in the new year in Napier where they'll both gather on Thursday for their annual retreats, a chance for some team building, some socialising and - most importantly - strategising. 

But before they even have had the chance to rally their troops, allegations of dirty politics in National's Tukituki candidate selection have come to light.

Rumours have been swirling online about bullying allegations involving a potential National candidate.

Newshub caught up with leader Christopher Luxon as he landed in Napier and asked him about it. 

"I am not involved in candidate selections. That's an issue for the party. I trust the party president and the processes of the party to have that resolved. That's all I've got to say on it."

National president Sylvia Wood has also commented.

"National’s selection processes are decided in line with our constitution and rules – not by the underhand tactics playing out in Tukituki by a small number of individuals and their proxies," she said.

"There is no place for this kind of behaviour in National Party selections and it will not be tolerated. We are ensuring that the Tukituki selection process is fair to all involved and follows National Party rules."

Announcements are also expected from the parties on Thursday.

The Prime Minister has indicated there's a lot to tick off at the start of this year.

She's going to reshuffle her cabinet, but she may choose not to do that on Thursday to keep spirits high.

She's got to set an election date, but last election she did that after the first Cabinet meeting of the year, which is next Wednesday.

Ardern is also looking to cast aside policies that are not totally essential, a clearing of the decks to try and turn around the polls. We may see that on Thursday.

There is always the possibility of a new policy announcement to set the scene and claim the narrative from the get-go.

In the National camp, Newshub understands a reshuffle may be on the cards. 

So it looks like new year, new line-up all round.