Todd Muller facing name recognition challenge with New Zealanders

The National Party MP set to challenge Simon Bridges for the leadership role may face one big challenge yet - his name recognition with the public might not be there yet.

Todd Muller is vying for the position after Bridges' poor performance in the latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll, where National polled at 30.6 percent - down 12.7 percent on the last poll.

If it's the first you've heard Muller, you're not alone. Newshub asked Aucklanders if they could recognise him from a photo, and not a lot of people knew who he was.

"Todd Muller? No, no idea," one person said.

"Am I supposed to know?" someone asked.

"Never heard of him before," another said.

Others could recognise him, but not quite get his name.

"It's the guy they're thinking of ousting Simon for," a person said.

Another got closer by knowing his first name, but couldn't remember his surname.

"The person who's going to be challenging for the National Party [leader], Todd…"

So who exactly is Todd Muller?

Muller, 51, has three children, Aimee, Bradley and Amelia with his wife Michelle.

He was born in Te Aroha in the Waikato before his parents shifted the family to Te Puna in the Bay of Plenty.

An old boy of Te Puna Primary and Tauranga Boys' College, he went on to study politics at Waikato University. He's worked for both Zespri and Fonterra, and now he wants a shot at becoming the Prime Minister.

He was elected to Parliament in 2014 as the Bay of Plenty MP, and although he hasn't been around too long, he's no stranger to politics. He joined the National Party in 1989, worked for former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, and even in his childhood dreams he was politically ambitious.

"I even wrote a book as a 10-year-old that saw me elected Vice President of the United States… Becoming President upon the very unfortunate death of the then-President, and then going on to serve 13 consecutive terms," he said.

But until Wednesday, Muller hadn't made too many real stories. The one he did went global after he became the target of Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick's "OK boomer" comment, but he wasn't ever really mentioned.

National MPs are returning to Wellington on Friday for a midday emergency caucus meeting after Bridges' leadership was challenged.