Murray McCully’s and Michelle Boag’s fake green party Sustainable NZ is dead on arrival. It may well take Simon Bridges with them because despite his denials he has been involved in setting up the project so as to decapitate the actual Green party.

Last week saw ructions from the board, and now they stand accused of doctoring membership records.

The party’s former secretary Helen Cartwright has told Newshub she was asked to doctor membership records so the party could be registered.

Sustainable NZ launched with high hopes, but that didn’t last long.

“We noticed that there was an amount of money missing from the membership,” Cartwright told Newshub.

Cartwright quit as party secretary on Monday – a month after uncovering a problem.

In an audit, she realised a number of party members hadn’t paid their fees – putting the party’s registration in jeopardy.

The lack of financial members “was an innocent mistake,” Cartwright told Newshub.

Legally, 500 paid-up members are needed to be an official political party. Cartwright’s audit found they were 35 short.

She told party leader Vernon Tava – and says that’s when the innocent mistake turned sour.

His great idea was that we should say we’d collected the money that was missing in cash and that the cash was in a petty cash tin,” she told Newshub.

“There was no cash. He suggested he go the bank and get the right amount of cash out.”

Cartwright refused.

“Vernon then suggested that we – I – would go into our database which is where we hold all our financial records and doctor the records so the payment received date matched the payment – matched the joining date.”

Again she refused. Instead she met with the Electoral Commission without telling Tava.

Newshub has obtained evidence backing up Cartwright’s claims.

Newshub

Is that the Jaws theme I can hear?

This party was dead before it started.

What is Plan B, Boag, McCully and National? This party was never a real one. It was designed, rather forlornly, to appeal to middle class greenie types who wouldn’t bring themselves to vote National. However, it always looked like the Blue Greens in drag and could really only be described as an astroturf party.

This was Bridges’ sneaky Plan A and now it is a busted flush. I wonder how long it will be before the National party caucus starts to look critically at the election strategy being run by Bridges and Bennett and start saying yeah, Nah.