English's resignation doesn't have 'automatic impact' on Paula Bennett as National deputy, who wants to stay on

Bill English said this morning his decision to vacate the National leadership does not necessarily have a bearing on Paula Bennett's position as deputy leader of the party.

It is understood Ms Bennett is not going for leadership but wants to try to stay on as deputy.

However, he did not go so far as to say Ms Bennett's position was secure.

"I stepped down as leader, she hasn't stepped down as deputy leader," Mr English said on TVNZ1's Breakfast.

"She'll make her own decisions about whether she does that. That's up to her.

"Certainly me stepping down doesn't have any automatic impact on her."

Mr English will leave the National leadership, and Parliament entirely on February 27.

He has not revealed who he will be voting for as next National leader.

As the hustle for leadership begins, it seems Ms Bennett’s position is safe. Source: Breakfast

Nikki Kaye rules herself out of National Party leadership race

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says she is not pursuing the National Party leader position left by Bill English yesterday "in any shape or form".

Ms Kaye spoke briefly to media outside parliament today, saying she would also make her support for a candidate clear within 48 hours.

"We are really lucky in the National Party that we've got potentially multiple people who could do the role," Ms Kaye said.

"I hope that here is a healthy contest.

"You've got to do what's right for the country and the party ... this stuff isn't about ego, it's about who's right to potentially lead the country."

Judith Collins has already announced her candidacy for the top job this morning.

She says there are "multiple" people who she thinks can take on leadership. Source: 1 NEWS


The day ahead – Matty McLean brings today's weather forecast

Stay up to date with the latest weather forecast. 

The rain is still on the way for many parts of the country. Source: Breakfast