These National MPs show us how to celebrate summer

It was a tumultuous year for the National Party.

After the Jami-Lee Ross saga and accusations of staff bullying, you can't blame our National MPs for seeking a bit of R&R and enjoying the summer weather before the 2019 political year kicks into gear.  

National leader Simon Bridges spent Sunday afternoon doing what we'd all like to be doing: drinking beer. He tweeted a picture of himself enjoying a cold Emerson's, a craft beer brewed in Dunedin.

"Great brew for a hot Sunday afternoon," he said.

"Good on you," one Twitter user responded. "Nothing better than a refreshing ale on a Sunday afternoon - now wait for the rabid left to accuse you of promoting alcohol."

Earlier in the year, Mr Bridges uploaded an image of him and his wife Natalie celebrating New Year's Eve. The couple spent the night Tauranga - the city for which Mr Bridges is MP - with their children. 

"Happy New Year!" he tweeted on December 31. "Natalie and I are at a family event in Tauranga with the kids. Hope you all have a good night!"

The National MP also recently celebrated his daughter Jemima's first birthday. Speaking to Women's Weekly, Mr Bridges said he and his wife believe in "never missing out on an opportunity to celebrate life's milestones - no matter how busy they are".

The National boss wasn't the only one soaking up the summer vibes. His deputy, Paula Bennett, was snapped kicking back at the ASB Classic in Auckland watching the tennis.

And she wasn't alone. Ms Bennett tweeted a picture of her sitting next to National MP Judith Collins, where the pair looked happy soaking up the sun.

"Auckland summer isn't complete without tennis and friends," Ms Bennett said, joking that her husband, Alan Philips, is the "bloke in the background trying to avoid the camera".

The National MPs will be preparing for another tumultuous year in Opposition. The rogue Botany MP, Mr Ross, had a huge impact on politics in 2018 and National will be hoping that many of the issues he raised will go away.

The Spinoff's Max Harris said the saga had importance because it "revealed distrust and suspicion in the Party, and some disquiet about Simon Bridges' leadership".

There has been talk of the National Party using the newly-passed "waka-jumping law" to expel their former colleague from Parliament, which could force a byelection. But commentators say it's unlikely.

There has even been talk of Mr Bridges being ousted as leader this year as Ms Collins creeps ahead of him in the polls. A 1 News-Colmar Brunton survey in December revealed that Ms Collins was on 6 percent, just 1 percent behind Simon Bridges.

However both remained well-behind incumbent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was sitting on 39 percent - down 3 percent.

Whatever turmoil 2019 brings for National, at least their leader's getting a decent break.