National Party selects strong leadership team

Judith Collins has been reconfirmed as Leader of the National Party, with Dr Shane Reti selected as the party’s new Deputy Leader.

Both were selected unopposed following a Caucus meeting in Wellington today.

“It is an enormous privilege to be reconfirmed as Leader of the National Party,” Ms Collins says. “I’m looking forward to leading a strong, united and focused Opposition that will deliver for all New Zealanders.

“I’m delighted by Dr Shane Reti’s appointment. He is a hard-working, intelligent MP with all the skills needed to be an effective leader. His detailed examination and prosecution of the Government’s handling of Covid-19 helped improve the response for New Zealanders.

“Dr Reti’s knowledge and history working in the health sector will be an asset as Parliament deals with the impact of Covid-19. His experience will be invaluable to me as deputy leader and I’m looking forward to working closer with him.”

The National Party Caucus also voted on two Whips, with Matt Doocey selected as Senior Whip and Maureen Pugh selected as Junior Whip.

“The Whips have an important role to play in helping ensure all our MPs are focused on holding the Government to account,” Ms Collins says. “I’m sure Matt and Maureen will do a wonderful job.

“National’s MPs are energised about the term of Government ahead. We owe it to the people of New Zealand to provide a strong and effective Opposition as we navigate the difficult economic and health issues ahead of us – and this is exactly what National will do.”

WHO IS DR SHANE RETI?

  • Politics is Dr Reti’s third career. He first practiced family medicine and dermatology in Whangārei for 16 years.

  • He was appointed for three consecutive terms to the Northland DHB, has published research that won literary awards, completed his first Masters in 2004, registered with the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants and was awarded a QSM for Public Service in the 2006 New Year Honours List.

  • He was awarded the NZ Harkness Fellowship to Harvard and went to the United States in 2007 to gather experience to bring home. While at Harvard he completed his second Masters and was promoted to Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

  • His work over the following seven years also included an appointment with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in an economic development role as Beachheads Advisor to the New Zealand consulate in Dubai.

  • Dr Reti has held a wide range of portfolio. He has been National’s spokesperson for Health; Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment; Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Data and Cybersecurity; and Disability Issues.

  • Dr Reti’s has been deputy chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee; deputy chair of the Health Select Committee; co-chair of the NZ/US Parliamentary Group; chair of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Disarmament and the parliamentary facilitator for Arthritis New Zealand.

  • He served as MP for Whangārei from 2014 to 2020.