Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register
Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Simon Bridges on losing National Party leadership: 'It's been a heck of a ride'

Former National Party leader Simon Bridges says he will stay in politics for the time being, but will "take stock" and work it out from there.

Watch his media conference here:

Bridges has spoken to media after losing the party's leadership vote earlier today.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller won the support of the National Party caucus today, ending Bridges' two-year reign as leader. Nikki Kaye also replaced Paula Bennett as deputy leader.

Bridges said he still planned on coming to Parliament, but also having a bit of time off.

He said there would be no "grand pronouncements" about his plans, such as stepping down from politics for the moment.

He said it had been a "heck of a ride" as National's leader.

"I can't say I've enjoyed every minute of it ...but it's been a blast."

He said the country was in a crisis and the National team would come up with some "constructive solutions".

A National government was needed because the country was losing 1000 jobs a day, Bridges said.

He was proud that he was able to help force the government to back down on the capital gains tax and a national fuel tax change, he said.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"I regret none of it, there's definitely some silver linings in this."

He said he had not been the best dad in the past two and a half years, but he would improve on this from now on.

Bridges went into the emergency caucus meeting saying he was confident of retaining his job. However, two abysmal polls this week appeared to have sealed his fate.

They showed that not only did voters overwelmingly favour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as leader, but support for National had also dipped to as low as 29 percent - its worst showing in 17 years.

His replacement, Todd Muller, has vowed the party's absolute focus will be on the economic recovery of New Zealand from Covid-19, but says he is not interested in opposition for opposition's sake.

In his first public comment after the result was announced, Bridges thanked New Zealanders on Twitter:

More time for the most important job I have. Thank you New Zealand.

— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) May 22, 2020 

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines

Binoy Kampmark: Rot In The Australian Civil Service

There is no better example of Australia’s politicised public service than its Home Affairs Secretary, Mike Pezzullo. In most other countries, he would have been the ideal conspirator in a coup, a tittletattler in the ranks, and bound to brief against those he did not like. Give him a dagger, and he was bound to use it. More

Ramzy Baroud: The Palestinian Cause Belongs To The World

Once upon a time, the ‘Arab-Israeli Conflict’ was between Arabs & Israelis. Over the course of many years, however, it has been rebranded. The media is now telling us it is a ‘Hamas-Israeli Conflict.’ But what went wrong? Israel simply became too powerful. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.