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25 Feb 2018 15:10
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  •   Home > News > Politics

    Adams makes three in National leader race

    National's Amy Adams has joined Judith Collins and Simon Bridges in announcing bids for the party's leadership - but others still aren't ruling themselves out.


    National's Amy Adams has launched her bid for the party's leadership with a display of support, bringing along a troop of colleagues for the announcement.

    The Selwyn MP on Wednesday became the third member to confirm she wanted to succeed former prime minister Bill English, who on Tuesday said he would be leaving parliament in two weeks.

    She joins Simon Bridges and Judith Collins in the race.

    Ms Adams made her announcement on parliament's lawn in the afternoon, flanked by fellow MPs Nikki Kaye, Chris Bishop Maggie Barry and Tim Macindoe.

    "It is absolutely my ambition and goal that if I am leader we will win in 2020," she told media, adding she had "begged" Mr English to stay on.

    "I believe I have very good support in caucus and actually across the country in the membership base."

    The accompanying quartet then took turns singing Ms Adams' praises and publicly endorsing her for the leadership.

    "I really believe in who she is ... She's got courage, she's got integrity and she's one of the most capable politicians I've ever met," Ms Kaye said.

    Former cabinet minister Ms Collins was the first to throw her hat in the ring on Wednesday morning.

    Asked whether she could take on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the next election, Ms Collins told TVNZ: "I don't underestimate her, but I do have her measure and I can beat her."

    Mr Bridges announced his tilt to reporters at parliament a few hours later, saying he believed he had "strong support" in the caucus.

    "I think I offer the right blend of generational change and experience," the 41-year-old former transport minister said.

    Meanwhile, National Party veteran Steven Joyce was also not ruling himself out.

    "I'm considering my position currently ... I'm taking some soundings from colleagues."

    Rodney MP Mark Mitchell told reporters he too was considering running. Former health minister Jonathan Coleman was not ruling himself out either.

    Auckland Central's Ms Kaye - the youngest among the speculated candidates for the role - ruled herself earlier on Wednesday.

    Deputy leader Paula Bennett also said she was not running, but would campaign to keep her current role.

    And while some opposition MPs declined to comment on the race, Foreign Minister Winston Peters was not pulling any punches.

    "The National Party really needs somebody who's intelligent, popular, seriously good on their feet, charismatic and the kind of gentle hearted person that the last time they had someone like that was 25 years ago," he told reporters.

    WHO'S RUNNING?

    Confirmed: Judith Collins, Simon Bridges, Amy Adams

    Maybes: Mark Mitchell, Steven Joyce, Jonathan Coleman

    Out: Paula Bennett, Nikki Kaye, Maggie Barry

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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