Auckland, August 1, 2020
National Party MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi launched his campaign on July 25, 2020 for the ensuing general elections at the Panmure-Otahuhu Constituency in the midst of a number of fellow lawmakers and new candidates contesting across Auckland.
The first India-born candidate to enter Parliament as a List MP in 2008, Mr Bakshi is currently the Ethnic Communities Spokesperson for his Party.
Among those at the launch were National Party Directors Alastair Bell, Andrew Hunt and Stefan Sundae, current MPs Simon O’Connor, Alfred Ngaro, Agnes Loheni, Paulo Garcia and new candidates Christopher Luxon and Nuwi Samarakone.
Following is an extract from a RNZ report:
On July 14, 2020, the Party elected Judith Collins as its new leader to replace Todd Muller, with Gerry Brownlee as her Deputy. Collins, 61, was first elected as an MP for Clevedon in 2002 and has been part of six Parliaments.
“I think it is really important that we all have a common goal … to get rid of the current government and put in place a better government,” she said after emerging from the Caucus meeting.
“One of the things that unifies any party is if they see that we are getting the results that we want … I think you are going to find that we are very focused on winning. There is no chance at all that I am going to allow … Ardern to get away with any nonsense to do with our economy. I am going to hold her to account. I would say experience, toughness, the ability to make decisions … that would be myself. Jacinda Ardern is someone we should not ever underestimate. We are actually better. If you look at our team, our experience … it is better than Jacinda Ardern and her team,” she said.
She said the Party’s policies would not see any major changes.
About Judith Collins
Ms Collins, Member of Parliament elected from Papakura, has been the Shadow Attorney General since May and holds the National Party’s spokesperson roles for several areas, including Economic Development, Regional Development and Pike River Re-Entry.
She has previously been the Minister for ACC, Corrections, Energy and Resources, Ethnic Communities, Justice, Police, Revenue and Veterans’ Affairs.
According to her National Party profile, she holds a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws with Honours and a Master of Taxation Studies from the University of Auckland and was a lawyer and company director before being elected to Parliament.
Mr Brownlee said he was there to support Collins “and the rest of the team and that is what I will be doing.” He ruled out ever wanting the leadership.
No further distractions
Ms Collins replaced Todd Muller, who resigned on July 14, 2020, saying that it had become clear he was not the best person for the job.
Mr Brownlee offered his sympathies.
“I was devastated for Todd Muller and his family, I found Todd a wonderful person to work with … I am sure that he will continue to be just that,” he said.
Ms Collins said that the Party would continue to support Mr Muller in what was a difficult time.
She said it was important that National MPs had no further distractions before the Election.