Christopher Luxon denies he considered standing for Labour

  • 07/06/2022

The National Party leader has denied he ever considered standing for Labour after claims he had an intermediary "sound out" the governing party about the possibility.

RNZ reported on Tuesday morning two people "highly influential in the Labour Party" have shared a claim that Christopher Luxon had someone "sound out Labour about entering politics on their side".

The National leader told RNZ that wasn't correct: "There is no ambiguity about my connection with the National Party or alignment with the National Party. That was always my party."

Luxon at Parliament on Tuesday reiterated that, flat out rejecting he had ever considered standing for Labour or that there was an intermediary looking into the idea. 

"Absolutely not. I have never thought about standing for the Labour Party. I was a member of the Young Nats when I came out of university here. I was apolitical when I was overseas and at Air New Zealand it was the right thing to do so I could work with successive governments.

"After I resigned from Air New Zealand, I was straight into the National Party. They align with my values. It has always been my party."

Luxon, the former Air New Zealand chief executive, previously also served on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Business Advisory Council.

He entered politics in 2020 after winning the safe National seat of Botany. The electorate had previously been held by former National MP Jami-Lee Ross, who left the party in controversy in 2018 following a public row with then-leader Simon Bridges.

A little over a year after becoming an MP, Luxon was catapulted into the leadership position last November after a no-confidence vote in Judith Collins. 

Since then, National's fortunes have improved, going from polling in the mid-20s to the high-30s. The party has been the most popular political party in several polls