The competition is on for the National Party leadership and one of the leading candidates vying to take over from Bill English has Ngāti Maniapoto whakapapa.

Simon Bridges has put his hat in the ring and says he has widespread appeal.

“I intend to seek the support of my colleagues in the National Party to be the next leader of the National Party.”

If Bridges is selected, he's hoping that his Ngāti Maniapoto whakapapa will be a drawcard to future Māori voters.

“I understand my whakapapa and I have a sense of that as a minister. Professionally I've spent a lot of time with iwi.”

However, it's going to be atrue contest because Judith Collins has put her hand up.

Collins says she has the credentials to be a PM.

“I think we need a very strong and decisive leader, and I know that I am that person.”

But MPs, including Tutehounuku Korako, are keeping quiet about who they're throwing their support behind.

“Let's just wait and see who the candidates are going to be, we've got a really talented and experienced team so let’s see what comes out of that.”

It is anticipated that in two weeks’ time the new party leader will be revealed.

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