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National needs change to win: Collins

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/12/2016 Sean Martin


National can't win next year's general election unless there is a change says Judith Collins who believes she is that change.

Ms Collins will contest the party's leadership vote on Monday, challenging Jonathan Coleman and deputy Bill English.

Without outgoing Prime Minsiter John Key leading the party it will be the toughest election since 2002, she says.

"My belief is this party will not lead coming into or going out of that election 2017 if we continue to do exactly the same thing with the same people," she told TV3's Paul Henry programme.

But she criticised her challengers saying a party led by Mr English would be "John Key without John Key" while she doesn't believe Dr Coleman has the profile for the job.

But Mr English would continue to be deputy or finance minister in her cabinet if he wanted, she said.

Ms Collins admitted she is "polarising" and won't change if she wins.

"I know that I can make decisions, I can really make a decision and having done that I'll then live with them," she said.

One of her decisions if successful will be whether or not to call an early election, but she's yet to say whether that will happen.

First there needs to be discussions with support parties and the opposition, including New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

"I think you've got to deal with who you have to deal with in politics," she said.

"And I'll say this for Winston Peters - he's 40 years in the game, he may be getting on in age but by goodness he's one of the best politicians I've seen in parliament."

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