New National Party leader Christopher Luxon pledged a “government-in-waiting that will work every day to represent all New Zealanders”, after it was confirmed he will take the role as the country’s Opposition leader.
“National is back,” he told media.
He pledged a refreshed party, with MP Nicola Willis who was announced as deputy by his side.
Luxon was asked about the role his religion would take in his leadership.
He said his faith had often been misrepresented and that it had grounded him.
“We have separation between politics and faith. I am here to represent all New Zealanders, not just people of one faith.”
He said Collins would “absolutely” stay in his caucus.
No commitments had been made on positions.
“We have an incredibly talented team in that caucus.”
“Much has been made of my relative newness to Parliament but to be honest, I see it as an advantage,” he said.
“I bring a fresh set of eyes, and what I see is that this place and this country needs a shake-up.”
The pair were elected today, with contender Simon Bridges pulling out of the race earlier this afternoon. Collins was dumped as leader last week, after trying to demote Bridges.
Nicola Willis is a list MP based in Wellington Central.
About Christopher Luxon
Luxon won the seat of Botany off former National MP Jami-Lee Ross at last year's election.
Luxon is publicly close with former PM Sir John Key, who referred to Luxon as a “world-class candidate” in 2019.
He grew up in Christchurch and Auckland, and previously said he was against euthanasia and abortion, however he added the views of his constituents on those issues were important.
He was CEO of Air NZ when it returned record profits, and also when the controversial Saudi deal was signed.
Luxon said in February that he had "no recollection" and was surprised to find out a business unit at the airline had helped the Saudi Arabian military by repairing engines on Saudi navy vessels.
About Nicola Willis
Willis came to Parliament in 2018, with Sir John Key making a special trip to Parliament to hear Maiden Speech.
In it, she paid homage to Kiwi parents, farmers, and her feminist great-great-grandfather.
Before becoming an MP, she held senior management roles in Fonterra and was a senior advisor to former Prime Minister Sir John Key.
As National’s housing spokesperson, Willis was most recently criticising the Government for Kāinga Ora’s no-evictions stance for state houses.
She voted to support abortion law reform and end of life choice.