Thursday, 3 Dec 2020

National Party leader Judith Collins on the party’s new plans

It is back to business for the National Party today with its leader Judith Collins armed with her new top team.

Collins is speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking this morning – a day after she unveiled her caucus reshuffle of the party’s 33 members of Parliament.

She is expected to give an insight into some of those decisions, which saw third-term MP Andrew Bayly climb 14 places to number 3 and given the role of shadow treasurer.

LISTEN LIVE: Judith Collins with Mike Hosking at 7.05am

She also promoted Michael Woodhouse to be her finance spokesman after Simon Bridges rejected the position – pushing him down the rankings to 7 – because of Collins’ plan to split the usual finance portfolio into two roles.

Bayly, a Collins loyalist and chartered accountant, will be the shadow treasurer and take on the infrastructure and statistics portfolios.

Collins said yesterday that the role was similar to the arrangement in Australia and he would work closely with Woodhouse.

Bridges has retained justice and been given water, Pike River re-entry and Maori-Crown relations. He also lost foreign affairs which has been given back to former deputy leader Gerry Brownlee.

Brownlee – who lost his long-held Ilam seat in the election – stepped down as leader last week and said his focus would be on rebuilding National’s base in Christchurch. He’s dropped down the caucus rankings to number 15.

New MP and former Air NZ boss Christopher Luxon is now spokesman for local government, iwi development and associate transport.

Former National leader Todd Muller has also dropped down the list and has been given trade and export growth and internal affairs.

Former finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith has been given education and has dropped down the rankings to number 12.

The finance portfolio has been held by Goldsmith but it is thought he lost it after the $4 billion “fiscal hole” error in National’s plan during the election campaign.

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