Simon Bridges won't rule out New Zealand First coalition

The AM Show 28/08/2019

National Party leader Simon Bridges is still not ruling out working with New Zealand First after next year's election despite proposing a conflicting superannuation policy.

On Monday, the National Party revealed its discussion document on the economy, with one of the key proposals being to lift the age of eligibility for superannuation from 65 to 67 from 2037.

However, one of the potential coalition partners for National after next year's election, New Zealand First, has a strict policy on superannuation - keeping it as is.

Leader Winston Peters quickly condemned National's policy on Monday, questioning if the party may actually bring it in sooner than 2037.

But Bridges said super isn't an "existential crisis", so action isn't needed in the next five years.

Despite differences with Peters' position, he also won't rule out working with him.

"We will see what happens. We haven't seen him in Parliament so haven't had a chance to chat with him lately. We will see what happens," he told The AM Show.

"It isn't an issue of trust, there is nothing like that.

We will make very clear what our position is on Winston Peters and New Zealand First.

Bridges said the proposal was about keeping superannuation sustainable with New Zealand's ageing population. He estimates that lifting the age could help the country save about $4 billion every year.

"Before people get into a panic, let's just remember one number: 1972."

If you are born before 1972, ultimately this means nothing for you personally.

"If you were born after that, effectively what we are doing is raising the super age a year at a time from 65 to 67 I think in 2038.

"Reality is if you are born after 1972, when you get super, you will still be on it longer than someone today statistically because of course, we are living longer."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out any increase to superannuation, noting her Government had instead decided to restart contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund.

ACT Party leader David Seymour praised National but said the age raise should be done sooner "as the superannuation bill for taxpayers skyrockets".

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Jamie Ensor