Robertson wants 'Country Calendar yak special' after Bridges retires

Source: 1News

As National's finance spokesperson Simon Bridges nears the end of his time in Parliament, the Finance Minister is among those reflecting on his counterpart's long career.

During question time on Tuesday, Bridges asked Grant Robertson: "Will I always be his favourite National finance spokesperson?"

The House erupted in laughter as a smiling Bridges sat back in his seat.

Robertson then said: "I've been giving significant thought to this question. I can confirm for the member that among the six National Party finance spokespeople I have faced, he's in the top half."

Steven Joyce, Amy Adams, Paul Goldsmith, the combo of Andrew Bayly and Michael Woodhouse, and Simon Bridges all served as National's finance spokespeople since the party's defeat in the 2017 election.

Bridges, the grin still on his face, then asked: "What will he miss most about me?"

Robertson answered: "What I will miss about the member is his ability found latterly in his political career to not take himself too seriously, and I look forward to his hosting of the Country Calendar yak special."

Robertson was referring to a viral social media video that Bridges posted soon after he was ousted as leader of the National Party by Todd Muller.

Titled "Walking with a Baby Yak", the 32-second video showed Bridges walking in gumboots next to the small animal.

The light-hearted questions came after Speaker Trevor Mallard granted Bridges an extra supplementary question after "consistent interjection" from someone sitting in Labour's side of the House.

Bridges announced on Tuesday morning he would be retiring in the coming weeks.

"It's time. I feel that I'm leaving National at a good time. It's never perfect but I think National has momentum as we saw in the poll last week. It has wind in its sails," he told reporters.

"This is something I've mulled for some time."

Bridges said he would focus on his family, and pursue commercial and possibly media opportunities.

"It’s been a privilege to be MP for Tauranga since 2008, a senior minister and Leader of the Opposition. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but it’s time."

His resignation will trigger a by-election in the Tauranga electorate.