Todd Muller's 53 days: Controversy, resignations and minor surgery

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller's tumultuous 53 days as Opposition Leader saw controversy, four National MP resignations, one resignation reversal and even a minor surgery. 

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 25:  Newly elected National Party Leader Todd Muller looks on during a press conference to announce a new Shadow Cabinet on May 25, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. The new National line up will take the party into the 2020 election. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

A timeline of events:

May 22 - Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye took over the National leadership team after rolling Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett. 

May 25 - Mr Muller committed to National's election policies of raising the retirement age in 2037, reinstating oil and gas exploration, and promised to give small businesses  $10,000 for each new staff member  (up to 10) that it hires. 

May 26 - National's leadership team  incorrectly described finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith as Māori , after questions about the lack of Māori MPs in their top 12 line-up. Mr Muller also was forced to make a u-turn over his controversial Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" cap , saying it would be packed away in a box. Amy Adams reversed her decision to leave Parliament. 

June 9 - Mr Muller underwent minor surgery  to remove pre-cancerous moles. 

June 11 - The Māori Party labelled Mr Muller a "racist" over challenging a fishing ban Mōtītī Island, as well as a lack of diversity on National's front bench, while also ruling out working with National post-election.

June 25 - Mr Muller describes then-Health Minister David Clark as a "non essential worker".

June 25 - National jumped in support under Todd Muller in the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll to 38 per cent. Mr Muller had an approval rating of +9 and went from 0.2 per cent in the May poll up to 13 per cent as preferred PM. 

June 27 - Anne Tolley announced her retirement at the election - despite previously indicating her intention to be Speaker should National win the election. 

June 29 - Paula Bennett announced her retirement after the election . Ms Bennett let comedian Tom Sainsbury know of her decision before Mr Muller. Ms Bennett told  TVNZ1's Breakfast  that Mr Muller did know she was "highly likely to be leaving... I just didn't tell him the day".

July 1 - Finance Minister Grant Robertson called National leader Todd Muller's consistency on border issue s that "of a bored cat".

July 7  - National MP Hamish Walker confessed to leaking Covid-19 patient details to the media. Shortly after, Michelle Boag admited being the original source.

July 8  - Mr Muller said he didn't not want MP Hamish Walker to run as the party's candidate in the Clutha-Southland electorate. Michelle Boag quit her National Party roles. Mr Walker announced he won't stand at the next election.

July 9  - Mr Muller rejected questions that more than one MP had data leaks sent to them, and denied speaking to Michael Woodhouse.

July 10  - Mr Muller said he knew on July 7 that Mr Woodhouse had been sent confidential patient information by Ms Boag. Michelle Boag withdrew all membership from National Party and said she has an "unhealthy relationship with politics".

Later that day, National MP Jian Yang announced his resignation, less than two weeks after  TVNZ1's Q+A reporter Whena Owen revealed a two-year battle to try and get an interview with him .

July 14 - Mr Muller announced his resignation