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'Fantastic' - MPs react to Christopher Luxon's rise to National Party candidate for Botany

National's new candidate for Botany, former Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon, has received a warm welcome by some - with MPs outside the party predicting a rise to leadership.

Last night, Mr Luxon took out the National Party candidacy for Botany, set to go up against independent MP Jami-Lee Ross at next year's election. He beat current list MP Agnes Loheni for the spot. 

"I feel like I'm starting in the third form again - arrive at a new school and away we go," Mr Luxon said. "I want to acknowledge all the amazing people that have been in the process with me, we've been on this journey together."

Speaking to media today National MP Judith Collins said she couldn't remember all the details of Mr Luxon's speech, but said it was "fantastic". 

"I thought he had a fantastic start last night and I look forward to him being the MP for Botany."

When asked about Mr Luxon's leadership potential against National leader Simon Bridges, Ms Collins said she did not think "any leader ever expects to not have other people people coming through".

"Christopher Luxon, I thought he was so outstanding last night, actually blew my little socks off."

Labour's Phil Twyford called Mr Luxon "the next leader of the National Party".

"I'm particularly interested in his views on infrastructure. He's called for a nation-building approach to infrastructure that I think is really great and it's exactly what we're trying to do."

This morning, Mr Luxon suggested to RNZ National's "no jab. no pay" proposal, which looks at whether people on sole parent benefits should have their payments cut if they do not immunise their children, should extend across Working for Families - adding it was hypothetical. 

"Mr prediction is that he'll probably live to regret that statement," Mr Twyford said. 

Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis said it was "in the "DNA of the National Party is to attack beneficiaries so I guess he's just continuing that stance". 

"What we need to do is educate people and bring them along."

Mr Davis said Mr Luxon was a "threat to Simon Bridges more than anyone else".

Mr Bridges told media today bringing Mr Luxon onboard to National showed the strength of the party. 

"I've got more than two very ambitious MPs," he said referring to Mr Luxon and Ms Collins. "They're ambitious for themselves and for New Zealand."

"(Mr Luxon) is an excellent candidate, first-things-first for him (is) obviously Botany, I think it shows the strength of National that we're getting that kind of calibre."

"The people of Botany want change. Christopher has got several months to embed himself into the community, to work really hard."

On the "no jab, no pay" comments, Mr Bridges said while Mr Luxon "got a little bit Susie'd (referring to RNZ Morning Report presenter Susie Ferguson) ... we nether the less are up for the discussion".

"We know immunisation is a no-brainier... Now we're grappling with the how, if you look to Australia, it has worked there.

"The position is simply that we want to hear from people through our discussion document process and that will inform whether we will do the no jab no pay in relation to certain classes of beneficiary, if we have the privilege of being Government and if we would consider widening it."

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Judith Collins said his speech “blew my little socks off”. Source: 1 NEWS