Christopher Luxon off to a '10 out of 10' start - Simon Bridges

Christopher Luxon's first full week in charge of the National Party has been rated "10 out of 10" by the man he beat for the role. 

Luxon, a first-term MP, was elected the party's new leader unopposed after former leader Simon Bridges withdrew his challenge.

Bridges was instead made the party's finance spokesperson, rising back up to third on the list just days after being demoted by outgoing leader Judith Collins. 

Luxon's had an arguably shaky start - hiring a black Mercedes to drive across the road from his apartment to Parliament, fluffing his very first question in Parliament's battleground Question Time, admitting he doesn't know how much money he's making from his property empire and being mocked online for a tweet which read "we will be out there in the world happening to our future".

But Bridges thinks he made the right call to make way for the former Air NZ boss. 

"Ten out of 10," he told The AM Show on Friday. "We've had a reset, there's a fresh energy in National that's exciting and that's thanks to Chris Luxon. It's actually been our best week of the year and I think it gives us a really good platform for 2022."

Host Ryan Bridge suggested it wasn't hard for it to be the "best week of the year" for the party, which lurched from crisis to controversy under Collins' erratic leadership. 

"Well, it's… it's still something," Bridges said.

Labour MP David Parker, appearing with Bridges on The AM Show, congratulated Bridges on his "new gig", before taking a crack at Luxon's infamously short drive.

"He actually had an unusual start - sprung taking a limo straight across from Parliament, less than 100m. If it had been a whole block, maybe he'd have taken a plane." 

Even Bridges acknowledged that was a good burn.

"He's thought about that one for a while."

It remains to be seen whether Luxon's reputation as a businessman can recapture some of the glory of the Sir John Key years, when National's polling was almost always in the high-40s. 

Parker put Labour's recent slip in the polls down to COVID fatigue, and acknowledged the success in staving off a pandemic-related economic collapse has brought its own problems. 

"Everyone's sick of COVID, to be honest. It is true that inflation's on the rise in New Zealand and around the world. It's funny that a year ago we were worried about a depression - that hasn't eventuated. But it's true inflation is one of the challenges around the world, including in New Zealand - Governments have to deal with the challenges that come along."