Wellington Scoop

Wellington MP elected deputy leader of National Party


Wellington list MP Nicola Willis has today become the new deputy leader of the National Party, with former Air NZ chief and MP for Botany Christopher Luxon elected as new leader.

RNZ reports that Luxon says it was an uncontested leadership decision.

He says he and Nicola Willis will “be a formidable team”.

“We are the reset.”

He thanked Willis for joining him in the leadership team, his wife and children for their support, and to his caucus colleagues.

He said he has known Nicola Willis for a long time and they are good friends and their skills are complementary.

Luxon thanked Judith Collins for her service during “a very difficult period” for the party, and said today they are putting the events of the past four years behind them. “I don’t want to really talk about what’s happened in our past, what I can tell yo is the bottom line is we have an uncontested leadership selection and we’ve come together as a team. New Zealand is over it, the National Party members are over it, and the caucus is over it. So we want to turn the page and go forward together.

“We are going to do things differently from here on through. It’s very clear from today and you’ve watched this contest be different from previous contests, that actually we’re turning the page, we’re putting the baggage aside, we’re trusting each other, we’re doing that work…”

Luxon said there is a role for everyone in his caucus and there are important roles for former leaders like Collins and Bridges. Having a team backing them up with complementary skills is important, he says.

“We want to build a team based on talent and merit and performance and that’s what we’re going to do going forward.”

Conversations in the past few days have been about strategic issues around where the party goes and unifying, he said.

Luxon said his faith has often been misrepresented and portrayed negatively. “My faith is actually something that has grounded me, it’s given me context and put me into context with something bigger than myself but I want to be very clear, we have seperation between politics and faith, people shouldn’t be selecting an MP because of their faith and they shouldn’t not be selecting an MP because of their faith.” He says he is here to represent all New Zealanders.

He says to the 400,000 odd voters who moved away from the party that “National is back”.

New Zealand is at a critical crossroads as it grapples with the pandemic, he says. “New Zealand needs an alternative now more than ever to take us in the right direction because frankly, the country is heading the wrong way.”

He says the government is very good at delivering PR “but woeful at delivering much else”.

“I think Jacinda Ardern is a fine communicator but the reality is we need much more than that at this point in time. We need a leader and we need a government that’s actually going to get things done.”

He said because of the government’s policies there will be a million Kiwis missing Christmas dinner this year because they cannot get home.

1 comment:

  1. Geoff McLay, 30. November 2021, 17:23

    Not all electorates are as equal as our beloved Wellington Central. From today we have one deputy PM, one deputy leader of the opposition, one leader of another major political party and Minister and, of course, at least two former PMs…[via twitter]