Simon to take on Jacinda and Winston

New National Party leader Simon Bridges with deputy leader Paula Bennett. Supplied photo.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says it’s an ‘enormous privilege’ to be elected leader of the National Party, and has thanked his colleagues for the opportunity to lead ‘a strong, united and focused opposition’.

Deputy leader Paula Bennett has also been re-elected to her position after the vote in caucus this morning.

“Growing up in Te Atatu with a Pakeha mum and Maori dad, I never thought I’d have this opportunity to make such a difference to the lives of New Zealanders,” says Simon, who is the 12th leader of the National Party and its first leader of Maori descent.

“My focus as leader will be ensuring we build on those policies to improve the lives of New Zealanders.

“Our caucus has an incredible depth of talent and abundant energy which is why we continue to enjoy so much support. New Zealanders believe in our vision for New Zealand and in our team.

“My job will be to hold the Jacinda Ardern-Winston Peters coalition to account.

“We’ll support the things we believe are bringing our country forward, while opposing the things we see as making us tread water or go backwards.”

He says the current government is ‘big on lofty intentions’, but he does not believe they are turning into real gains for New Zealanders.

“This government, I believe, takes our economy for granted. New Zealanders know that after governments like this, National are the economic managers who pick up the pieces.

“That’s why we will continue to present an ambitious and strong alternative government heading into 2020.

Simon says in the coming weeks there will be ‘reshuffle’ in caucus, while he will ensure New Zealanders get to know him better and the direction he intends to take the National Party.

“I would like to commend Amy, Steven, Judith and Mark for putting themselves forward, and our colleagues for the constructive way we have handled this important decision. That gives me great confidence.”

He has also expressed ‘delight’ that Paula Bennett has been selected as his deputy.

“Paula brings great experience and ability to draw people together and I know she will continue to do an excellent job.”

Although he would not divulge details of the caucus vote, he says he was elected after two ballots, while two people stood for the role of deputy.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller has congratulated his fellow Tauranga MP and wishes him well in the leadership role.

"Simon is an experienced politician who has held a number of senior roles both as a minister and shadow leader of the house. He is a competent political operator who is going to test the government at every turn.

“All of those who put their hand up to be leader would have been outstanding choices. We carried out a robust contest of ideas and Simon has emerged on the other side with a united caucus standing behind him."


Now, an excuse to keep doing nothing

Posted on 28-02-2018 09:13 | By WhispersInTheDark

The boy who’s done nothing in the National-safe electorate of Tauranga for over 9 years now has an excuse for doing nothing for another 2.5 years. Caretaker National leader, codename: Temporary.

Time will be short lived for LABOUR

Posted on 27-02-2018 19:54 | By BushBash

The start of a new government that will take over in 2020,MR Bridges will need to do allot of cleaning up once adorn stuffs the country as labour has done in the past

Another party in the wings?

Posted on 27-02-2018 19:43 | By Maryfaith

With National supporters 28% against Simon’s hand on the tiller, it is to be hoped that Joyce and Collins combine to start a new party. With no choice left to the ’righties’ they will be on to a winner and voters will support them in droves.


Posted on 27-02-2018 19:13 | By magictorch

A smile to Jacinda. You can so do this.

So many who know so little

Posted on 27-02-2018 18:46 | By Dazed and Confused

People talking about the Greens and NZ 1st, These parties will not be there in 2020 any one who isn’t aware that Blue and Red will be the only contenders are fooling themselves. No Winston no NZ 1st and the greens are on self destruct mode. NZ 1st voter base is dying as we speak. Good on Simon he will be our 1st Maori PM


Posted on 27-02-2018 17:30 | By Eddie Munster

Surely the vast majority of National voting Tauranga will be super happy that National finally has some strong Maori leadership.

Take heed Simon

Posted on 27-02-2018 16:52 | By penguin

Simon would do well to take heed of his criticism about perceived empty promises from the Government - National left a few of those lying around.

Consensus Boy

Posted on 27-02-2018 15:56 | By maildrop

He satisfied most of his colleagues as least harmful. Middle of the road. Safe hands on a leaky boat. Any money he won’t be there in 2020. I like the pre-emptive troll by Phoenix! Pots and kettles.


Posted on 27-02-2018 15:41 | By Me again

the little muppet won’t be able fight his way out of paper bag. Like the one before him, what a laugh!!

Oh Joy

Posted on 27-02-2018 15:10 | By Told you

To have Simon lead National is a windfall for the coalition,they can see themselves in power for many a year.

New Leader

Posted on 27-02-2018 14:56 | By phoenix

The lefty trolls will be out in force to denigrate you Simon. Just ignore them,like the rest of us do.


Posted on 27-02-2018 14:41 | By Merlin

Desperation already Simon holding out an olive branch to the Greens after losing two coalition partners.Shows a bit of lack of confidence in being able to govern without partners.To much rhetoric in his statements.

Labour will be over the moon

Posted on 27-02-2018 14:34 | By Chookymac

Well National with such a pair of losers at the Helm Labour will be laughing their tits of.One who has done nothing in 9 years for his electorate and the other who can not keep her gob shut.Labour will be in for a lengthy spin.


Posted on 27-02-2018 13:56 | By dumbkof2

jacinda and winnie will be shaking in their boots now. simon next prime minister

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