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'We are back': Nicola Willis signals change in her first interview as Nats deputy leader

Lloyd Burr 30/11/2021

LISTEN: The National Party has a new leader and deputy leader following Judith Collins' ousting last week.

Christopher Luxon, a former Air New Zealand CEO and first-term MP, takes over the reins with Wellington-based MP Nicola Willis, who is his deputy.

In her first media interview since being announced as deputy leader, Willis told Magic Talk's Lloyd Burr it's a "really exciting day" for the troubled party.

"We have drawn a line under what has been a very difficult period and we as the National Party have come together with a united team and a very strong leadership duo," she said.

Previous National voters have felt let down by the party in recent times, however, things are changing, Willis said.

"We are back and we are going to be 100 percent focused on addressing the issues that matter to you and making sure that we hold this government to account, and presenting a better plan for the future of New Zealand," she told Magic Talk.

A vote of no confidence last Friday saw Judith Collins removed from the role, over the way she demoted MP and former leader Simon Bridges, which came out in a late-night press release. The caucus was not consulted first.  

Bridges, who led the party from February 2018 to May 2020, was keen for another go at the top, but he pulled out at the last minute and said he would be supporting Luxon instead.

Listen to the full interview with Nicola Willis above.

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