Christopher Luxon has been elected Leader of the New Zealand National Party, alongside Nicola Willis as Deputy Leader.
The decision was made at Caucus today after challenger and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges pulled out of the running.
“It is a tremendous privilege to lead our great party, and I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me,” says Luxon.
“I’m delighted the Caucus has elected Nicola Willis as Deputy Leader. She will do an incredible job and we will be a formidable team.”
In a statement on social media, Bridges backs Luxon as the man to lead the National Party.
“He will make a brilliant National leader and Prime Minister,” says Bridges.
Luxon takes over from Judith Collins, who left in chaotic fashion last week, after demoting Bridges the previous evening.
Nicola Willis will be Deputy Leader. Supplied photo.
The former Air New Zealand CEO says that a united National Party is now needed.
“The unified National Party that Nicola and I lead will work every day to represent all New Zealanders, earn back their trust and confidence, and deliver for them,” says Luxon.
“Now, more than ever, New Zealand needs the National Party to offer them hope, ambition and drive to meet the challenges of the coming decade.”
Luxon says he is committed to providing a government of action.
“I came to politics because I know how to solve problems and get things done,” says Luxon.
“I have built a career out of reversing the fortunes of under-performing companies and I’ll bring that real-world experience to this role.
“We are the new National Party that New Zealand needs.”