New National leader takes over small businesses portfolio

Todd Muller. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly
Todd Muller. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly
National's new leader Todd Muller says if he leads his party to victory this election, he would be the Minister of Small Business as well as the Prime Minister.

He said this would help reinforce the fact that a Government he led would be about helping those people on the ground floor of the economy.

"Those small businesses need an advocate in Wellington and I'll be their man," he told the Nation this morning.

He also left the door open to a possible post-election deal with the Green Party, saying he rates its co-leader James Shaw "very highly".

The pair worked closely on the Zero Carbon Bill, which National supported at its first reading.

"If other parties, such as the Green Party, see an opportunity to be able to assist that effort [rebuilding the economy], well then, of course, my door would be open," he told the programme.

Muller became leader of the National Party yesterday after rolling Simon Bridges in caucus.

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye was elected as his deputy leader.

In his speech yesterday, and speaking to the Nation this morning, Muller emphasised that his focus would be the economy.

He is still not giving much away when it comes to which MP would get which portfolio, other than that Paul Goldsmith would retain finance.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the Minister of Arts, Culture, and Heritage and John Key was the Minister of Tourism.

National MP Todd McClay holds the small business portfolio, but Muller said he's talked to McClay and the pair agreed that the leader having this portfolio responsibility was a "fantastic focus" for the party.

Meanwhile, Muller, a self-professed American politics nut, was asked to pick his preferred US presidential candidate.

He said he's listened to Donald Trump and Joe Biden speak in the past.

"In terms of the person who gave the best speech, it was Joe Biden."

Meanwhile, Muller has been given the seal of approval from yet another former Prime Minister.

Speaking to the Nation, Jenny Shipley said Muller was an "outstanding person".

"He's ready now, and I think you can see that."

This comes after former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger backed Muller – his former employee – as well.

"Todd has the ability to work well with all across the line, he's not that partisan position. He will work with others to achieve the right goal," he told RNZ before Muller won the leadership.


Same horse but with an even more right wing, even more backwards-looking rider. We don't even have to use our imaginations to see what New Zealand would be like if National were elected, we can look at the USA today, the UK today and Brazil today to see exactly where these people want New Zealand to be.
Covid 19 has shown just how wrong the right wing of politics is.

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