Statement on deputy leadership of the National Party

“For the past few weeks the National Party has been reflecting on how the Parliamentary Caucus can best discharge its responsibilities for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

“Today, with the release of the special vote count, we have our final numbers. Our smaller team of 33 is now ready to focus on the work ahead.

“In July I stepped into the role of deputy leader of the National Party to support Judith as our leader. It’s my strong view that Judith campaigned extremely well in what was an unprecedented election.

“While I was proud to step in at the time, and remain so, I’ve always believed that influence is more important than position when it comes to politics.

“It’s time to think about the three years ahead. I want Judith to have the strongest and most complementary support beside her as leader.

“New Zealand faces some challenging times ahead. For some time to come, coronavirus and the fallout from responding to it, along with the importance of keeping its effects away from our shores, will be the dominant activities for both the Government and Opposition.”

“My focus, moving forward, will be on rebuilding National’s base in Christchurch and representing our voters there.

“Accordingly, I will not be seeking reappointment as the deputy leader when Caucus meets on Tuesday.”