Simon Bridges has today been confirmed as the new Leader of the National Party, with Paula Bennett confirmed as his Deputy.


“This is an enormous privilege and I want to thank my colleagues for giving me the opportunity to lead a strong, united and focused Opposition with the ideas and talent to continue to take New Zealand forward,” Mr Bridges says.


“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 as Leader will be to hold the Jacinda Ardern-Winston Peters coalition to account.


“Their Government is big on lofty intentions, but struggling to turn that into real gains for New Zealanders.


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


“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.


“I would also like to thank Bill English for his tremendous service. Under Bill’s leadership New Zealand has become a better place and we are grateful for all he has done. 


“I’m delighted that Paula Bennett has been selected as Deputy Leader. Paula brings great experience and ability to draw people together and I know she will continue to do an excellent job.


“Our renewed focus on 2020 begins now and I can’t wait to get to work.”