'It is brutal' - Jacinda Ardern wishes Simon Bridges well after being rolled as National leader

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has wished Simon Bridges well after he was rolled as leader of the Opposition party on Friday, adding that politics "is brutal".

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The Prime Minister said her transition into being leader was different, though, so she couldn't compare. Source: Breakfast

However, she told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning she couldn't compare the transition of Todd Muller being elected as National's leader to her own transition in Labour.

"There's no question coups are tough, no question at all, and can be quite a hard thing to rebuild a team," she said.

"My transition was a different one so in that sense I'm not really in a place to judge but I know that recovery, getting team back together in those scenarios, can be very hard thing.

"But from my perspective, look, when we had a new opposition leader I sent a message and I wished him well, and I wish Simon Bridges well in whatever decisions he makes as well but as you can imagine, regardless of what's happening with the National Party, my focus is on taking New Zealand through our economic recovery and that's where I am right now."

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Today’s coup came after disastrous results for the party. Source: 1 NEWS

In his first days as the National leader, Mr Muller had praised the Prime Minister for her Covid-19 health response so far, but with his background in business and leadership, he's reiterated several times that he's the man for New Zealand's economic recovery.

However, Ms Ardern told Breakfast host John Campbell today she disagreed. 

"I think all we need to look at, and this is what New Zealanders will make their judgement on both of us, John, will be our record," she said.

"I think probably they'll need to take a little time to just see and hear from the new Opposition leader. The National Party is going through a transition - they're not the party of [John] Key and [Bill] English anymore - and I do wish them well in that and I know how hard those transitions can be.

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The new deputy leader didn't give away whether or not she would keep her education portfolio. Source: Breakfast

"All I would ask of New Zealanders is that they don't have to wonder what our record would be on that. Before we entered into this global pandemic we very proudly had got unemployment down to its lowest levels in a decade, we'd managed to get our country's debt down, we'd run surpluses. And so for us that is our absolute focus again.

"We are in a position now where our absolute focus needs to be on people and jobs and livelihood and we've already demonstrated that that was our focus before this global pandemic, and with the Budget we've just generated, that's demonstrated that on some forecasts we can get that level on unemployment again within a short space of time."

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Todd Muller rolled Mr Bridges today, four months out from the election. Source: 1 NEWS