Luxon named as leadership contender

Recent National Party leader Judith Collins, second from left, on a recent trip to Howick and her colleagues, from left, Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, List MP Melissa Lee, and Botany MP Christopher Luxon. Photo by Times Wayne Martin

Two members of the National Party in East Auckland are at odds with those who want to replace former leader Judith Collins.

Collins was ousted by his party committee on November 25 after a disagreement.

His deputy, Dr Shane Reti, is the party’s leader, and Collins will be replaced by party members at a rally in Wellington on November 30.

Among the nominees for new leaders is Botany MP Christopher Luxon, who entered Parliament in the 2020 election.

Luxon has not made it clear he wants to stand for leadership.

He declined to comment on Time.

A Luxon spokesman said: “Christopher has nothing to say because the party’s leadership is a matter for Caucus to discuss on Tuesday. [November 30]. ”

Before entering politics, Luxon was an Air New Zealand captain for seven years.

He and his wife, Amanda, have two children.

Luxon was born in Christchurch and grew up in Howick.

He attended schools in eastern Auckland including Cockle Bay School and Howick College and studied entrepreneurship at Canterbury University before he was 18 years old working for the international company Unilever.

His responsibilities and business include as President and CEO of Unilever Canada.

Luxon returned to New Zealand in 2011 to run Air New Zealand.

He is a National Party spokesman on Land Information; Local Government, Research, Science and Technology; as well as a spokesman for the Transport portfolio.

He also serves on a parliamentary committee on finance and spending.

In his role as Local Government Spokesperson, Luxon has strongly opposed the Three Waters Government’s change in waste management, hurricanes, and drinking water in New Zealand.

He also spoke out against the government’s recent plan to build a $ 785 million roundabout bridge over the Waitemata port.

Luxon has been working on a number of local projects in eastern Auckland since joining Parliament.

He is working with the public to address the problem of speeding drivers in Cockle Bay and with fellow MP Simeon Brown campaigning for the police not to show up at Howick and to stop selling Auckland Council parking lots.

The unrest that left the National Party leadership vacant began on November 24 when Collins revealed to reporters in the night that he had ousted Tauranga MP, as well as former National Leader Simon Bridges and stripped him of his parliamentary seat.

Collins said her opinion stemmed from “serious mistakes” about Bridges and the interactions she had with a female organization member.

It was later revealed what had happened five years earlier and about Bridges making silly jokes about talking to other counselors about having a daughter and his wife.

Collins’ departure from Bridges led to an emergency National Party meeting the next morning as his colleagues voted against him and his removal as leader.

Punch MP Simeon Brown says the council has made a decision on leadership and “we will accept that decision”.

“I acknowledge the great work that Judith has done as our leader and I acknowledge the hard work she has done.

“Now the caucus is meeting Tuesday to elect a new leader.”

Brown declined to say who should be the party’s leader.

He said the party had gone through a “very difficult time” and that its members had a plan to do so next Tuesday.

“Our job is to make decisions and then we focus on issues that are important to the people of New Zealand.

“Health, education, responding to Covid-19, keeping our roads safe, and growing economically.

“We are committed to doing this.”

And Mr. Brown says he believes the National Party can win the next election, which will be held in 2023.

“New Zealand needs an International Government.

“New Zealand needs a Government that will ensure that we can secure our economic future.

“To be able to get out of Covid we are strong and give everyone the opportunity they want to have the New Zealand they want for their children and grandchildren.”

Also mentioned are potential party leaders Luxon and Bridges, MP Rodney Mark Mitchell, List MPs Chris Bishop and Nicola Willis, and Reti.

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