Simon Bridges resignation: Outgoing National Party MP reveals his dream careers

Outgoing Tauranga MP Simon Bridges has hinted at a career move towards working in media upon his exit from the Beehive.

The former National Party leader announced on Tuesday he'll be retiring from politics after 14 years to take up "commercial opportunities". 

So what is Bridges' dream career and what could be next for him? He told AM on Wednesday he once had the desire to be the conductor of an orchestra - but going to talk-back radio was more realistic.

"I have some unrequited desires," Bridges said. "I had megalomaniac desires, as a young child, to be the conductor of a symphonic orchestra. 

"Even at the young age of 45 that is probably too late but that's one [dream career].

"I still do see the possibility, as an older New Zealander one day of some cranky talkback show - maybe from midnight to 6am for those who can't sleep."

Bridges, a former Crown prosecutor, told AM host Melissa Chan-Green it's "probably your fault" he has aspirations to be in the media.

"I have deeply appreciated being on AM and it's been great for me to be on TV and talk about things that matter, and have a bit of fun."

He said he's loved being an MP but it was time to move on.

Bridges said while he was sad to be leaving, he was excited about new opportunities.

"I'm 45 so I'm not exactly old, I'm not exactly young. My oldest two out of three [children] turned 10 and 8 this week and for me, it's about putting them first and doing a few new things.

"It's no secret I've enjoyed writing a book and doing a bit of writing. Politics, before I became a Member of Parliament, was my hobby in a way so it's something I love - to be able to talk about some of that stuff will be pure fun for me." 

He chuckled as he ruled out appearing on Dancing with the Stars, as ACT Party leader David Seymour did in 2018.

"I've learned, over time, it's OK to humiliate yourself to an extent but you have to have some basic level of natural talent or skill - and that's not an area where you'll be seeing me."

Bridges' exit will trigger a by-election in Tauranga - a safe National seat. The party has held the electorate since before World War II, other than the period between 1993 and 2005 when New Zealand First leader Winston Peters held it.

There's already speculation that former Deputy Prime Minister Peters might take a crack at his old seat. Asked about this on Wednesday, National Party leader Christopher Luxon said "I think we're going to have a great candidate" for Tauranga. 

"We'll work really hard and I think we're going to win it," Luxon told AM.

Luxon will announce who will take over Bridges' coveted finance portfolio later on Wednesday morning.