20 May 2020

What does Tauranga think of Todd Muller?

From Checkpoint, 6:09 pm on 20 May 2020

Late on Wednesday afternoon Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller emailed his caucus colleagues signalling his intent to challenge for the National Party leadership.

It came after current leader Simon Bridges called the party's MPs back to Parliament for an emergency caucus meeting on Friday.

It's understood Todd Muller will run with Nikki Kaye as his deputy. In his email he said the country faces 'the most enormous challenge since the end of the Second World War'.

He said Labour has failed to deliver on every measure it has set for itself in government, and that will not change. 

Also in the email Muller said the consequences of Labour being re-elected would be catastrophic for two generations.

Muller said he shares the view of a majority of colleagues that National winning the election is not possible under the current leadership.

He said based on that, he is best placed to earn the trust of New Zealanders on September 19.

It comes after a Newshub-Reid Research Poll on Monday night put National at just 30.6 percent and Simon Bridges on 4.6 percent as preferred Prime Minister.

On the streets of Tauranga, opinions on the prospect of the Bay of Plenty MP becoming National leader were mixed.

Tauranga Boys College Principal Robert Mangan was keen on the idea of Muller, an old boy, taking charge.

"Simon Bridges remains and will always be a friend of the college, he's been a supporter of the college.

"But there's a certain soft spot with Todd as an old boy of the college. We've had some leaders come through most recently.

"The captain of the Black Caps Kane Williamson, current All Black captain Sam Cane, and we also have the helmsman of the America's Cup [Emirates Team NZ] Peter Burling.

"It'd be fantastic to have those three current sports captains as well as the captain of the nation," Mangan said.

He thinks Mangan has the economic skills and leadership experience to lead New Zealand out of the Covid-19-fuelled economic crisis.