Botany reacts to local MP Luxon becoming new National Party leader
Botany locals are backing their MP Christopher Luxon as the new leader of the National Party.
Luxon has been MP for the Botany electorate for 13 months, and after Simon Bridges withdrew from the leadership contest prompted by Judith Collins being ousted last week, the former Air New Zealand boss has risen to become leader of the opposition.
East Aucklander Roberta, who didn’t want to share her last name, said Luxon had been pushed into the position because there were no other National candidates with his “charisma”.
“I think they're in a bit of trouble actually, the National Party,” Roberta said.
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She said National was trying a “fresh look” with Luxon.
“He is quite inexperienced, but he had been coached by John Key. So we'll see what happens.”
Luxon, 51, secured the National Party candidacy for the Botany electorate in November 2019. He won the seat a year later in the general election, defeating Labour's candidate Naisi Chen by 3,999 votes.
He has described himself as an evangelical Christian and has voted against abortion rights and cannabis legalisation.
In his maiden address to Parliament in March, Luxon said faith had “anchored me, given my life purpose, and shaped my values, and it puts me in the context of something bigger than myself”.
“My faith has a strong influence on who I am and how I relate to people. I see Jesus showing compassion, tolerance, and care for others. He doesn't judge, discriminate, or reject people; he loves unconditionally.”
Before entering politics, Luxon had an extensive business career including being chief executive of Air New Zealand from 2012 to 2019, when he announced his plans to run for the National Party.
He has also been on the boards of Tourism New Zealand and Virgin Australia and served as the president and chief executive officer of Unilever's Canadian operations.
Di Liu has spent most of the last 18 years living in east Auckland. He said he didn't know who Luxon was.
Another local, Michael Alston, said Luxon has got the business skills to make a good leader.
“The National Party really needs someone with a lot more commercial acumen than the leadership has shown,” Alston said. “So I think it’s a great idea.”
He said Luxon had also been a good local MP.
“A lot of people probably won’t be aware what he’s been doing, but his record in the corporate world speaks for itself. So I have high hopes for his political career.”