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Statement By Don Brash On National Leadership

Statement By Don Brash On National Leadership

“In the last week, frustration by Caucus colleagues and Party members about our poor performance has boiled over, with all sorts of phone calls and speculation about the leadership,” National MP Don Brash said today.

“That Caucus colleagues are openly slagging one another off on TV, radio and in the newspapers underlines how divided we are.

“There has been speculation, going back even before I was elected to Parliament last year, that Party members and MPs have believed I would be able to provide stronger leadership than the current arrangements.

“I have always responded by saying that my motivation in resigning from the governorship of the Reserve Bank was to become Minister of Finance in a Bill English-led Government. That would enable me to contribute to lifting New Zealand’s sights to become the nation we all believe it could be.

“Events of recent months – and particularly over the last week – have made it clear to colleagues and many Party members that we’re not making progress towards that goal.

“That means a continuation into the foreseeable future of the Labour/Anderton/Green Government that is destroying the New Zealand we love and the country we aspire to be.

“That is unacceptable to me, to Caucus colleagues, to Party members and to the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who despair about the direction our country is headed.

“I have therefore this morning confirmed to supporters that I am prepared to have them nominate me for the leadership at Thursday’s Caucus. I will work with whomever the Caucus chooses as deputy.

“This is a different kind of leadership challenge that I am announcing today. It will not be done by hint and innuendo, or behind closed doors. I will not be making promises to colleagues about their job prospects. I will be asking them to support me or not to support me, based on their assessment of whether the party would be better off led by Don Brash or Bill English. The only guarantee I will give colleagues is that under my leadership we will throw everything in to beating the Labour/Anderton/Green lot at the next election.

“There is no reason New Zealand should not aspire to once again be the best place in the world to live, the best place in the world to bring up families, the best place in the world to work, and the best place in the world in which to do business.

“In the National Party Caucus, we have talented people who have all the skills to form an outstanding Government.

“Under my leadership, National will take the lead in encouraging New Zealanders to lift our sights – to believe that we can once again be successful – and to stop an arrogant Labour minority Government from presiding over our country’s slow decline.

“Finally, should my leadership bid be unsuccessful, I will be doing the decent thing and resigning as Shadow Finance Minister and from the Opposition front bench.”


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