Mental health advocate says language Christopher Luxon is using sounds like he's managing company, not country

A mental health advocate has hit out at incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon for the language he's using saying it sounds like he's running a company rather than a country.   

National and ACT are able to form a government based on the preliminary election results but are waiting on the special votes to be released on November 3 and coalition negotiations to confirm the shape of the next government.   

Luxon was previously the chief executive of Air New Zealand between 2012 and 2019 and has talked a lot in the media about his previous business experience helping him with areas in politics.   

As part of AM's daily panel on Wednesday, mental health and addiction practitioner Romy Lee was asked about Luxon's comments about wanting to shorten the time elected officials are away from the house, expecting them back at work in mid-January, several weeks earlier than usual.     

"I mean, I'm not sure what to think about that, on one hand, I think it's good to have Parliament sitting for longer - that's great," she replied.    

"However, some of the language that Chris Luxon is using around Parliament, I can't help but listen to him and hear him talking like he's managing a company rather than a country and rather than a Parliament and that scares me a little bit. [It] doesn't sit quite right with me."  

But when asked by AM's Ryan Bridge if Luxon brought the success he had with Air New Zealand to Aotearoa then "we'd all be richer", Lee hit back.  

"It's not all about being rich is it, it's about quality of life as well," she said.  

Political scientist Lara Greaves, who was appearing alongside Lee, said Luxon faces a fight to win the public over with recent polls showing he's struggling for popularity. 

"If you look at things like Vote Compass data on his likeability and I've gone back through all the New Zealand election studies to 1990, he is coming in as the least liked Prime Minister that we've had in my lifetime, so he's up against it," she said.   

"He will get a bit of a honeymoon bump in the data with the preferred Prime Minister and a bit of a likeability bump because we've seen Prime Ministers get that. Hipkins got it, all of them get it but he's up against it a bit with the general public challenge, with likeability."  

Greaves told AM she believes Luxon will have a "new model of doing things", potentially a business style.      

It comes as the wait continues for the next government to be formed.   

Luxon has consistently said coalition negotiations will happen behind closed doors and not in the media.     

National won October's general election with 38.99 percent of the vote compared to 26.85 percent for Labour.     

That gave National and the ACT Party a slim majority of 61 seats but might need New Zealand First and Winston Peters if that majority slips after the counting of the special votes, which historically tends to favour the left.     

So far, the National leader has only committed to him being Prime Minister and his deputy leader Nicola Willis being his Finance Minister. Willis is the only person to have had her portfolio confirmed.  

Watch the full interview with Romy Lee and Lara Greaves in the video above.