Judith Collins selected as opposition leader

Judith Collins
Judith Collins, Party leader of the New Zealand National Party

New Zealand’s main opposition party has appointed Judith Collins after the surprising resignation of Todd Muller who only stayed in the role for two months. The opposition party is behind in the opinion polls and not tipped to win the election.

Judith Collins was selected in an evening vote by her party. The 61 year old carries the nickname ‘Crusher’ because she has developed a reputation as a hard-fighting politician and has said that she hopes her party crushes the current government during the election.

Opposition leader Judith Collins is set to face Jacinda Ardern in a vote. Her election is the second time she has been elected as the leader of her party and it will be the second time she has faced off against Ardern. In the past Collins has struggled against popular Jacinda Ardern who is performing well in opinion polls due to her handling of the Christchurch massacre and other crises in the country.

Judith Collins has been a member of parliament since 2002 and was originally a minister under Jon Key-Bill English’s government where she was responsible for overseeing revenue, energy, police and justice portfolios.

Mr Muller has resigned after saying the job had taken a heavy toll on him and his family. His resignation came after a number of mistakes including leaking sensitive information. He acknowledged that he was not the best person to be in the role and cited health concerns as a reason for leaving the role. Collins has said that she does not expect there to be a major reshuffle to the party now that she has taken on the role. Having experience in the opposition role against Jacinda Ardern means she is likely more prepared for the pressures of the role compared to Mr Muller.