Election 2020: Todd Muller won't rule out working with Winston Peters

New National Party leader Todd Muller won't rule out working with Winston Peters and New Zealand First if given the option after September's election.

Earlier this year, outgoing leader Simon Bridges said he didn't believe The National Party could work with New Zealand First.

Muller, who pushed Bridges from the top job through a caucus vote on Friday, is taking a different stance.

"The decision from Caucus still stands - if that changes in the future, you'll be the first to know but at the moment that's our Caucus position," he told reporters on Friday.

"It's quite possible, maybe, that in the future we could refresh that - I don't know. The Caucus position is very clear, it has been clear since January.

"Let's see if it changes in the future."

Todd Muller and Winston Peters.
Todd Muller and Winston Peters. Photo credit: Getty

Bridges had followed the lead of former Prime Minister John Key who ruled out a coalition with New Zealand First and Peters in 2005 and 2008.

Reacting to Bridges' decision to rule out a coalition earlier this year, Peters said he was "unfazed".

ACT's David Seymour, meanwhile, said he welcomed the election of Muller and a new deputy Nikki Kaye - who has replaced Paul Bennett.

"The fallout from COVID-19 represents the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, with the potential for 250,000 jobs to be lost over the next two years," the Epsom MP said.

Seymour said having an alternative coalition was "essential for New Zealand democracy".

"National has chosen to tack towards the centre, taking on Jacinda Ardern at close quarters," he said in a statement.

"It is critical that New Zealanders who want free speech, lower taxes, less red tape, and greater personal freedom have a voice in any future centre-right coalition." 

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