National's new leader: Who is Judith Collins?

Widely known for her "arched eyebrows" and the nickname Crusher - Judith Collins is the new leader of the National Party. 

Collins, 61, has been chosen to take on Prime Minister Jacinda Adern at the September election with senior National MP Gerry Brownlee, 64, as her deputy.

The Papakura MP, who first entered Parliament in 2002 and recently wrote a book in which she was styled as a "political survivor", won the vote on Tuesday night, following a shock resignation from Todd Muller.

"I feel privileged to have been chosen to lead the National Party at this important time in our history," Collins said in a statement on Tuesday night.

"My focus as leader will be helping rebuild our communities and dealing with the economic and jobs crisis by getting Kiwis back to work."

This is the third time Collins' has gone for the leadership of the National Party.

"Third time lucky," she told reporters.

"I find it remarkable that the National Party chose me. My heart is utterly with New Zealand. This is a country that I love more than anything."

Born in Hamilton and brought up in the Waikato settlement of Walton, she went on to become a lawyer and a principal of her own firm, Judith Collins & Associates (1990-2000).

Collins was a Labour Party supporter from childhood, but by 2002, she had been a member of the National Party for three years.

After Muller's shock resignation as National's leader on Tuesday morning, Collins was the first name to be mentioned as the new leader.

Political commentator Josie Pagani says there's a reason for the numbers coalescing around Judith.

"She's the crusher of Jacinda's kindness… and there's a benefit to that," she says.

"You kind of want to see that arched eyebrow verses the tilted head compassion from Jacinda - you want to see that in a TV debate, that's good TV." says Pagani.

In 2009, Judith Collins was nicknamed 'Crusher Collins' when she proposed to 'crush' the cars of persistent boy racers.

Judith is confident the National Party will collectively "crush" Labour in September's election.