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'You think politics is House of Cards': Luxon has mammoth task of uniting broken National caucus

Newshub logo Newshub 30/11/2021 Jenna Lynch
Watch Newshub political reporter Jenna Lynch's report. © Newshub Watch Newshub political reporter Jenna Lynch's report.

Christopher Luxon has won the National Party leadership - that's the easy part done, and now he has the mammoth task of uniting a broken caucus. 

National MPs trudged in one by one on Tuesday to one job: settle on one leader. 

"We've got to have one person leading the party. It's an important job for us to do," National MP Tim Van De Molen told reporters as he arrived at Parliament. 

'You think politics is House of Cards': Luxon has mammoth task of uniting broken National caucus
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National MPs have one mission: unity - anything less and the chaos continues. 

"We can and we must so we will," said National MP Chris Penk, when asked if the caucus can unite behind one leader. 

"Everybody in the country wants that to happen," added National MP Ian McKelvie.

"It's critical," said National MP Barbara Kuriger. "We've had a terrible year and a half and this is our opportunity to get it right."

She said the National Party is "absolutely" capable of that. 

"I think it's pretty obvious why we need to have a united team," National MP Louise Upston commented. 

New deputy leader Nicola Willis said: "Unite this team, we're gonna be great - let's beat Jacinda Ardern."

Unity. Such a simple word. It's easier uttered than achieved, especially with this lot. The National Party has just spent three years in a leaky boat. 

Luxon is confident he can plug the leaks. 

"We can because we are unified about that," he said. "I'm not interested in leaks and stuff like that."

He's going to need to be to stand a chance against Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who led the Labour Party to a historic victory. 

"I've been up against four different leaders of the National Party," Ardern said on Tuesday. 

"My message to whoever takes on the mantle is to remember how important it is to focus on the things New Zealand wants us focussed on."

That could prove difficult if Luxon is treated the same as his predecessors. One worry, in particular, is an under-occupied Judith Collins. There was radio silence from her on the matter... for now. 

"Absolutely not," said McKelvie, when asked if he's worried Collins will sit back there and cause trouble.

"Not worried about anything," added Penk. 

Then there's the Scrapper, Simon Bridges, who didn't exactly make the previous leader's reign all that easy. 

"I'm excited about Chris Luxon. I had a really good chat with him," Bridges told reporters. 

"I see his heart, his values, and I think he's going to be a great leader of the National Party and ultimately, a strong Prime Minister."

Luxon doesn't think he needs to watch his back. 

"No, absolutely not," he told Newshub. 

"You think politics is House of Cards. You think politics is about someone who has to go up and someone goes down."

But it's the National Party that thinks that.

"I get it," he said, "But it's actually a team sport."

National's house of cards has come tumbling down too many times to count. To help rebuild it, they must nix the leaks. Luxon is off to a good start, securing that uncontested unanimous support.

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