Former National Party leader Simon Bridges says Chris Hipkins doing 'really good job' as new Prime Minister but challenges ahead

  • 27/02/2023

Former National Party leader Simon Bridges believes Chris Hipkins is doing a "really good job" at taking over the mantle as Prime Minister. 

Hipkins took over from former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last month after she announced her resignation saying she "didn't have enough in the tank" to commit to another term if she won this year's election. 

Labour was struggling in the polls towards the end of Ardern's tenure but once Hipkins took over the party saw an immediate turnaround. 

The latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll released at the end of January showed Labour had risen to 38 percent, up a mighty 5.7 points. It has commandeered most of it from National, which has plunged back under Labour to 36.6 percent, down 4.1 points.

The poll also showed Hipkins was the preferred Prime Minister coming out on top with 19.6 percent. Luxon followed closely behind on 18.8 percent.

Bridges told AM he's been impressed with how Hipkins has handled his new role. 

"I think so far in the eye of the storm, Chris Hipkins is doing a really good job and it's natural for New Zealanders to rally around that," Bridges told AM. 

"There are still tough times to come though, they've got to rebuild the roads, they've got to get the power on everywhere, we've got to make sure the supply chains are okay. We've got an economy that's got real issues. So you put all that in ... it's a very close run thing in terms of election 2023 and there is so much water to run under the bridge."

Watch Simon Bridges on the AM panel above.