Watch: National Party's leadership candidates tell Kiwis why they should get the top job ahead of tomorrow's vote

Source: 1News

The National Party leadership candidates made pitches on TVNZ1's Breakfast today about why they would be the best person for the job.

The party will vote tomorrow on whether Amy Adams, Simon Bridges, Mark Mitchell, Steven Joyce or Judith Collins will be replace Bill English as leader. 

Mark Mitchell:

How are you different?

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All the candidates are very strong and we're lucky in the National Party you could probably go 15 or 20 deep into our caucus that are capable of leading. 

I've got a very big international career. I know where opportunities are and I know where risks are. 

What have you achieved?

When I was chair of the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee I shepherded the foreign fighters Bill through parliament and managed to achieve cross party support, which I think is really important when it comes to matters of National Security. It was a very important piece of legislation in terms of protecting us as a nation. 

I made a recommendation back to the government saying we should bring our soldiers back from Malaysia who had been buried there, our veterans. The grave site wasn't necessarily secure and so we should bring them home. The government agreed with that. 

I also had a Private Members' Bill that stopped members wearing their patches in schools and public buildings. 

Amy Adams

Why should you be the new leader of the National Party?

The thing I think I offer is the ability to appeal to the widest range of New Zealand voters, fundamentally I'm standing because I want National to win in 2020. To do that we have to appeal to voters right across the board. I think I'm the person amongst us who has the greatest broad base appeal to voters and as a leader I would show that. 

Are you the social-liberal choice?

No I don't think so, I think I take each issue on its merits. Fiscally I'm very conservative, on law and order I'm very conservative. When you look at those social issues I try and get a pulse of where our community is sitting and where it's going. 

Are you going to be strong enough in opposition?

I have no doubt about my ability to be tough and stern. But it's not about taking just taking on the government, it's about showing New Zealand our vision, what we would offer in government. 

Steven Joyce

How are you different?

Firstly the experience, the vision for New Zealand's future. Perhaps I've been lucky enough to see first hand... what this country is capable of. There's a really exciting future for New Zealand over the next 20 [years] and I'm passionate about that. 

What does it take to beat Jacinda Ardern?

Firstly holding the government to account, they're an interesting bunch, so far they've talked a very big game and not done much. 

You've got to have strong vision set of policies for yourself and focus very much on Kiwi families and what they're looking for, and it's all about their security, incomes, and the opportunities they're going to get in the next 10-20 years. 

We've got to focus on all of those things and trust that we can bring the policy and earn the respect of the voters. 

Simon Bridges

Why should you be the new leader?

I'm the right blend of freshness and experience. I believe New Zealanders deserve better and we're the best team to do that in the 2020s.

Do you have the numbers?

I feel good about the support I've got. Ultimately this is a secret ballot. 

Your reason for voting against marriage equality?

I am a social conservative. [New Zealand is] a very broad church... that's our strength and our diversity in the National Party. 

Do you represent that broad church?

I've got that blend of some youth, I'm 41, I've got a young family, but also I've got a raft of senior portfolios.

We will, in the lead up to the election if I'm leader, be developing a comprehensive suite of.... policies that meet the context of the 2020s. 

Judith Collins

How's your support in the party?

I'm very direct about what I think about things. The fact that I've had leadership roles before parliament, I've had six years in opposition, pretty effective people tell me, maybe people don't always want to hear what I have to say from experience. 

But I think it's really important to stand up for what you believe. If you're in parliament just to agree with people you're in the wrong job. 

How are you different?

I was a leader in the legal profession and also business. No other candidate has had any time in opposition, and I don't count the last three months as meaning much. 

I'm incredibly strong in my views about what I believe and I also listen certainly to the National Party base.