National MPs admit 'we've got some work to do' on diversity

National MPs admit the party's "got some work to do" in terms of increasing diversity.

It comes after a review revealed on Wednesday highlighted the need for National to commit to diversity, with a stronger focus on Māori.

The election review panel recommended making Māori a priority area, and suggested they "develop a diversity plan" and "embed diversity across the party's membership, caucus, candidate and Board". 

So what does diversity mean to National? Here's what they said:

Mark Mitchell - Whangaparāoa MP

"Diversity to me reflects us as a nation, and as a country, and we recognise that we've got some work to do this term going into 2023 so we actually reflect the whole of New Zealand in terms of diversity," Mitchell said.

When asked about whether he believed in the Māori Health Authority, proposed by the Government last week, agreed with party leader Judith Collins and said there should be one system for everyone.

Collins has spent the week attacking the proposed Māori Health Authority. 

"I believe that we should have one system for everyone but we should be looking very carefully at where the need is and making sure that we fund the support where the need lies," Mitchell said.

Paul Goldsmith - National Education spokesperson

"Anyone who lives in Auckland for example will know that our cultures are incredibly diverse and naturally we want the national party to reflect that. 

"We certainly did in the last election cycle and because of the bad result, we've had fewer people from different backgrounds, it's important to get that back."

Chris Penk - Kaipara ki Mahurangi MP

"Diversity has a couple of different aspects; one is representing all the different viewpoints in society and one is when people need to look at a political party that aspires to run the country and say they can see themselves in that.  

"So there's a demographic element and there are some improvements we can make in that regard but at the same time it's also really important that representation means political parties listening to people and taking forward their views."

Simeon Brown - Pakuranga MP

"Oh look, the National Party is a party if you look around the room here, we've got an incredibly diverse membership," he claimed.

"We had a really tough election last year, that's the reality, we need to ensure that we reflect New Zealand and there's a lot to do that in terms of making sure our members' voices are heard, that's what part of that review's all about."

Simon O'Connor - Tāmaki MP

When told the statistic there are more National MPs named Chris than there are Māori MPs, and more MPs named Simon than there are Asian MPs, O'Connor responded, "I'm actually quite comfortable with my name". 

"But I think, unfortunately the election result did see a lot of our very diverse candidates - whether they were from China or the Philippines - losing their place which is very sad."