Māori leaders doubt Simon Bridges

There's belief National's new leader will need to mend bridges if he's to get the political support of tangata whenua.

Simon Bridges has become the first Māori leader of the National Party, but the jury's out on whether that will benefit Māori.

Executive producer of Three's the Hui, Annabelle Lee, says he'll need to prove himself.

"During the Northland by-election Simon Bridges made some pretty big promises about building bridges in Northland so in some quarters there'll be a little bit of scepticism about just what he'll deliver on," she says

It's also the first time National's leader and deputy have been Māori, with Paula Bennett remaining in her role.

Ms Lee says most Māori will be waiting to see if Mr Bridges lives up to his promises.

"Simon is strongly identifying through this leadership process as being Māori and in doing so there is a lot of expectation he will stand and deliver when it comes to kaupapa Māori issues.