Leader of the New Zealand National Party

Last updated

Leader of the National Party
Simon Bridges

since 27 February 2018
Precursor Bill English
Inaugural holder Adam Hamilton
Formation2 November 1936
Deputy Paula Bennett

The Leader of the National Party is the highest ranked politician within the National Party in New Zealand. Under the constitution of the party, he or she is required to be a member of the House of Representatives.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

New Zealand House of Representatives Sole chamber of New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.


The current Leader is Simon Bridges, who has served since his election on 27 February 2018. [1] Bridges has been described as the first Māori leader of a major political party in New Zealand. [2] [3] . But this is untrue. As Winston Peter's leader of NZ First is the first Maori leader of a major political party in New Zealand

Simon Bridges New Zealand politician

Simon Joseph Bridges is a New Zealand politician and lawyer who has served as the Leader of the New Zealand National Party and Leader of the Opposition since 27 February 2018. He has been the Member of Parliament for Tauranga since the 2008 election. A self-described "compassionate conservative", Bridges has served in several Cabinet portfolios, including those of Minister of Transport (2014–2017) and Minister of Economic Development (2016–2017). He took the role of Leader of the House from May to October 2017.

Māori people Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.


Following a general election, or when a vacancy arises, the Parliamentary Section of the National Party (the Caucus) elect a Leader of the Parliamentary Section (that is, the parliamentary leader). The Leader of the Parliamentary Section shall, shortly after receiving the approval of the Board of Directors (the governing body of the Party), become the Leader of the Party. [4]

A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party or movement. The term originated in the United States, but has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Nepal. As the use of the term has been expanded, the exact definition has come to vary among political cultures.

A parliamentary leader is a political title or a descriptive term used in various countries to the person leading a caucus in a legislative body, whether it be a national or sub-national legislature. A party leader may be the same person as the parliamentary leader, or the roles may be separated.


As parliamentary leader, the Leader organises the business of the party in Parliament. He or she also outwardly represents the party to the general public. Within the party organisation, they must ensure political consensus; the constitution of the National Party states that the Leader has "the right to attend any Party meeting or committee meeting and shall be an ex officio member of the Board". [4]

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by a governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world.

When the National Party forms the Parliamentary Opposition, as it currently does, the Leader of the Party usually acts as the Leader of the Opposition. When the National Party is in Government the Leader generally becomes the Prime Minister of New Zealand. In 1949, Sidney Holland became the first National Prime Minister. [5]

Official Opposition (New Zealand)

Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, or commonly the Official Opposition, in New Zealand is usually the largest political party or coalition which is not a member of the ruling government—it does not provide ministers. This is usually the second-largest party in the House of Representatives, although in certain unusual circumstances it may be the largest party or even a third or fourth party.

Leader of the Opposition (New Zealand) parliamentary position of the Parliament of New Zealand

In New Zealand, the Leader of the Opposition is the politician who commands the support of the Official Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition by convention leads the largest party not supporting the government: this is usually the parliamentary leader of the second largest caucus in the House of Representatives. In the debating chamber the Leader of the Opposition sits directly opposite the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister of New Zealand head of the New Zealand government

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand. The incumbent Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, took office on 26 October 2017.

List of leaders

Of the twelve people to hold the leadership, eight have served as Prime Minister. Dame Jenny Shipley was the first—and, as of 2018, the only—female National Party Leader. [6]

Jenny Shipley 36th Prime Minister of New Zealand

Dame Jennifer Mary Shipley is a former New Zealand politician who served as the 36th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1997 to 1999. She was the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand, and is the only woman to have led the National Party.

  National   Labour
PM: Prime Minister
LO: Leader of the Opposition

No.LeaderPortraitElectorateTerm BeganTerm EndedTime in OfficePositionPrime Minister
1 Adam Hamilton Adam Hamilton (1926).jpg Wallace 2 November 193626 November 19404 years and 24 daysLO1936–1940 Savage
2 Sidney Holland Sidney George Holland (1953) 2.png Fendalton 26 November 194020 September 195716 years, 9 months and 25 daysLO1940–1949 Fraser
3 Keith Holyoake Keith Holyoake (crop).jpg Pahiatua 20 September 19577 February 197214 years, 4 months and 18 daysPM1957Holyoake
LO1957–1960 Nash
4 Jack Marshall Jack Marshall, 1957.jpg Karori 7 February 19724 July 19742 years, 4 months and 27 daysPM1972Marshall
LO1972–1974 Kirk
5 Robert Muldoon Muldoon 1978.jpg Tamaki 4 July 197429 November 198410 years, 4 months and 25 daysLO1974–1975 Rowling
LO1984 Lange
6 Jim McLay Jim McLay (cropped).jpg Birkenhead 29 November 198426 March 19861 year, 3 months and 26 daysLO1984–1986
7 Jim Bolger Bolger, 1992.jpg King Country (1972–96)
Taranaki-King Country (1996–98)
26 March 19868 December 199711 years, 8 months and 12 daysLO1986–1990
8 Jenny Shipley Jenny Shipley and Winnie Laban (crop).jpg Rakaia 8 December 19978 October 20013 years and 10 monthsPM1997–1999Shipley
LO1999–2001 Clark
9 Bill English Prime Minister Bill English.jpg Clutha-Southland 8 October 200128 October 20032 years and 20 daysLO2001–2003
10 Don Brash Don.Brash.jpg List MP 28 October 200327 November 20063 years and 30 daysLO2003–2006
11 John Key John Key February 2015.jpg Helensville 27 November 200612 December 201610 years and 15 daysLO2006–2008
(9) Bill English Prime Minister Bill English.jpg List MP 12 December 201627 February 20181 year, 2 months and 15 daysPM2016–2017English
LO2017-2018 Ardern
12 Simon Bridges Simon-Bridges-Free-Crop.jpg Tauranga 27 February 2018Incumbent1 year, 25 daysLO2018–Present

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  1. Kirk, Stacey (27 February 2018). "Simon Bridges emerges as next National Party leader, Paula Bennett his deputy". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  2. Lynch, Jenna (27 February 2018). "Māori leaders 'proud' of new National leader Simon Bridges". Newshub. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. Roy, Eleanor Ainge (27 February 2018). "New Zealand: National party elects Maori leader and deputy to take on Jacindamania". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  4. 1 2 "Constitution and Rules of the New Zealand National Party" (PDF) (25th ed.). New Zealand National Party. October 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  5. "Sidney Holland". nzhistory.govt.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  6. Kenny, Katie; Walters, Laura (14 December 2016). "Line up another white male prime minister". Stuff.co.nz . Retrieved 13 June 2018.