More retirements expected from the National Party

Steven Joyce.
Steven Joyce. Photo credit: Newshub.

More retirements are expected from National as the party settles into Opposition under its new leader.

On Tuesday National Party stalwart Steven Joyce resigned, a week after his unsuccessful run for Opposition leader. Mr Joyce also revealed this afternoon he was destined to lose his finance portfolio in leader Simon Bridges' reshuffle, though he said he may not have stayed on even if he had been permitted to keep it.

Mr Bridges said today there will be more resignations. He said he doesn't expect many, and doesn't think they will come as a result of his upcoming shadow cabinet reshuffle.

"Over time you will see retirements, but I don't think there'll be a lot. In terms of this reshuffle, I don't think you'll see that," Mr Bridges said this afternoon.

The reshuffle is likely to see some younger MPs elevated to the front bench and in the toss and tumble, some of the more senior, experienced MPs will be relegated to the back benches.

If they don't like that, they could well choose to retire.

Mr Bridges has indicated numerous times that he will bring generational change to the caucus - and has said that partly means new faces. 

He repeated that on Tuesday, saying, "The reshuffle's going to be an exciting blend of real experience, and we've got so much of that, and also bringing fresh talent through."

As for whether Mr Joyce's resignation is an act of petulance in response to his demotion from the finance portfolio, Mr Bridges said that's not the case.

"Not at all. I think Steven feels he's at a crossroads, and he feels that he has a wonderful young family and plenty of ability to get out in the commercial sector and do well."

"I made clear to Steven that he was able to have an important front role position amongst a choice of portfolios," he said. 

Mr Bridges did not give a date for the announcement of National's reshuffle, but said it would be soon.