Face of the day

Don Brash

As the wheeling and dealing within the National Party kicks into action, interest.co.nz talks to political insiders about who will replace Bill English as Leader, and where they see the party going.

Former Reserve Bank Governor, National Party Leader and ACT Party Leader, Don Brash, has his money on Judith Collins.

He has confidence in Collins’ ability and maintains a woman is best placed to take on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. […]


Brash is firmly of the view that Collins – who he worked with from the time he entered parliament – is best placed to be leader.

“Judith is a conviction politician. She knows what she stands for and what she doesn’t stand for. She’s highly intelligent, she’s analytical, she’s got a good legal background, she’s been in parliament since 2002, so she’s had 16 years in parliament. She certainly takes no prisoners in house…

“One of the benefits of having a woman as leader of the National Party is that she could more readily take the fight to the Government in a way that perhaps a man might hesitate to attack a leader who’s a woman…

“National is not likely to win government by trying to emulate Jacinda. In reality, they can’t emulate Jacinda…

“People talk about Nikki Kaye. I think Nikki Kaye is a very able person, but I don’t think at this point she’s ready to be leader.”

Asked about Steven Joyce, Brash says: “Steven is a very able person… a very good organiser, ran very good campaigns… I don’t see Steven as Bill’s successor… I just haven’t seen him as the leader of the National Party.”

Brash admits he doesn’t know Simon Bridges as well as Collins, but sees him as another good contender for the job.

“He’s articulate, intelligent.”

Asked about whether Bridges is too much of a populist politician, Brash says: “In my experience, Simon’s got some pretty clear views on things. I think he made a good fist of the transport portfolio when he was running that.

“He has been of course a Crown prosecutor for a number of years prior to coming to parliament. He’s got some pretty strong views.”

Brash can see Collins and Bridges working together in leadership.

“You don’t want a leader and deputy who are both sort of clones of each other. You do want people who are different, have different skills and bring different constituencies to the party if you like. I think a Judith Collins, Simon Bridges duo would be a very powerful one.”

[…] asked about where he believes National should position itself on the political spectrum, he says: “I would think that for National to move further to the left would be a mistake. There are plenty of people around who say, ‘For goodness sake, we want a centre-right party and if National moves further to the left, we haven’t got one’…

“Logically ACT should be covering that end of the spectrum, but for some reason it isn’t doing so effectively, and I don’t quite understand why that’s the case…

“Judith would be more inclined to be a centre-right politician, rather than a centre politician.”[…]

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