National MP Agnes Loheni takes on Christopher Luxon, throws hat in the ring for Botany

National MP Agnes Loheni.
National MP Agnes Loheni. Photo credit: Facebook

Newshub understands National MP Agnes Loheni has thrown her hat in the ring to be selected as the National Party candidate for Botany.  

National MPs have confirmed to Newshub that Loheni - National's spokesperson for small business and Pacific peoples - informed caucus on Tuesday morning. 

Loheni will be competing for selection against former Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon, who confirmed last week that he wants to run in Botany as the National candidate. 

Earlier this week, National leader Simon Bridges said National would decide who will run for Botany before Christmas.

He told Magic Talk he was aware that Luxon was planning to run for the Botany electorate in Auckland before announcing it publicly on Thursday last week. 

"I can't talk about the selection for obvious reasons... It'll be a competition, and no one wants the leader of the National Party screwing the scrum if you like," Bridges said. 

"But what I would say is we are blessed with great talent. If you look at Labour doing their selections, they are not going to have any of that."

Bridges said in a few months' time, other "impressive people" will be putting their names forward alongside Luxon to run for the party. 

"We're a party of talent, and talented people want to be part of us, and know that we can form the next government."

The chosen candidate will go up against Independent MP for Botany Jami-Lees Ross, who resigned from the National Party last year after a massive public falling out with Bridges.  

Bridges said the candidate would be chosen by a group of National Party members in Botany. 

"Because Botany has a large membership, what that means is that the members themselves choose the delegate and have a process whereby the delegates come through."

The latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll shows the National Party's support growing. It's now on 43.9 percent, up 6.5 percent, ahead of Labour on 41.6 percent, down 9.2 percent. 

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