20 Aug 2023

National Party seeks to improve its line-up's gender diversity before election

9:58 am on 20 August 2023
National Party leader Christopher Luxon announces the party list.

National Party leader Christopher Luxon announces the party list. Photo: RNZ / Craig McCulloch

The National Party has sought to improve the diversity of its line-up for this year's election - but that could be stymied if the party wins a lot of electorate seats.

Party leader Christopher Luxon said he wanted more female representation in his caucus after the party's 2020 drubbing saw women make up just a third of its MPs.

"Always there's more to do and certainly in the list, we actually consider a range of factors, which is the conversation we had this morning about skills, abilities, experiences, of how we actually bring new talent into the team and augment the team that we've got," Luxon said.

The top 40 candidates on the party's new list included 21 women and 19 men.

However, closer analysis showed a lot of those women would likely be knocked out by lower-ranked men - who were standing in safe or at least winnable National seats.

The new list ranking also left at least one MP feeling burned, with Michael Woodhouse announcing his surprise departure from politics.

Meanwhile, Luxon has criticised ACT's David Seymour for joking about blowing up the Ministry of Pacific Peoples.

ACT's policy was to disband the ministry, but earlier this week, Seymour told a reporter he would like to send Guy Fawkes in to do the job.

Luxon said the remarks were out of line.

"I'm the leader of the National Party, I focus on the conduct and the behaviour of National Party MPs and my team," he said.

"Ultimately as I said, the comments were inappropriate, I think they will have caused offence and hurt within the community, and ultimately it's his decision if he wants to apologise."

Seymour had so far refused to say sorry and he said he was clearly making a joke.

  • National MP Michael Woodhouse announces departure from politics after low list ranking
  • Election 2023: National releases party list
  • Ministry for Pacific Peoples says staff were abused, lodges police report
  • National keeps voters guessing over foreign house buyers ban
  • National supports school lunch scheme but it must provide value for money - Luxon