|Leader of the National Party|
|Inaugural holder||Adam Hamilton|
|Formation||2 November 1936|
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.
The current Leader is Simon Bridges, who has served since his election on 27 February 2018.Bridges has been described as the first Māori leader of a major political party in New Zealand.
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.
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".
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.
Of the twelve people to hold the leadership, eight have served as Prime Minister. Dame Jenny Shipley was the first—and, as of 2018 [update] , the only—female National Party Leader.
PM: Prime Minister
LO: Leader of the Opposition
|No.||Leader||Portrait||Electorate||Term Began||Term Ended||Time in Office||Position||Prime Minister|
|1||Adam Hamilton||Wallace||2 November 1936||26 November 1940||4 years and 24 days||LO1936–1940||Savage|
|2||Sidney Holland||Fendalton||26 November 1940||20 September 1957||16 years, 9 months and 25 days||LO1940–1949||Fraser|
|3||Keith Holyoake||Pahiatua||20 September 1957||7 February 1972||14 years, 4 months and 18 days||PM1957||Holyoake|
|4||Jack Marshall||Karori||7 February 1972||4 July 1974||2 years, 4 months and 27 days||PM1972||Marshall|
|5||Robert Muldoon||Tamaki||4 July 1974||29 November 1984||10 years, 4 months and 25 days||LO1974–1975||Rowling|
|6||Jim McLay||Birkenhead||29 November 1984||26 March 1986||1 year, 3 months and 26 days||LO1984–1986|
|7||Jim Bolger|| King Country (1972–96)|
Taranaki-King Country (1996–98)
|26 March 1986||8 December 1997||11 years, 8 months and 12 days||LO1986–1990|
|8||Jenny Shipley||Rakaia||8 December 1997||8 October 2001||3 years and 10 months||PM1997–1999||Shipley|
|9||Bill English||Clutha-Southland||8 October 2001||28 October 2003||2 years and 20 days||LO2001–2003|
|10||Don Brash||List MP||28 October 2003||27 November 2006||3 years and 30 days||LO2003–2006|
|11||John Key||Helensville||27 November 2006||12 December 2016||10 years and 15 days||LO2006–2008|
|(9)||Bill English||List MP||12 December 2016||27 February 2018||1 year, 2 months and 15 days||PM2016–2017||English|
|12||Simon Bridges||Tauranga||27 February 2018||Incumbent||128 days||LO2018–Present|