Readers' views: New National leader

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Don Brash resigned as leader of the National Party today after three years in the role.

The favourites to succeed him are John Key, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and Simon Power.

We asked who you thought it should be?

>> Don Brash resigns
>> Leadership contenders


Let's hope that now the dirt on Labour will be released. Sure Don made some mistakes, and maybe he should of been more up-front, but the real threat New Zealand faces is that Helen and her parties backroom dealings with the Americans. Bring on the private investigations into labour, let's get the truth out there on both parties. Helen shouldn't comment too much on this, she has her own skeletons waiting to be thrown into the public light.
- Richard James

I think Bill will should not go for the leadership role and stick to his own role.

I think John Key is the right person to lead national party. No other candidate can lead National into the next election.
- Nesh

Homer Simpson seems the people's choice. He's not afraid to speak his mind. He has more intelligence than the majority of our politicians. Good in front of the camera. Loyal family man. A little rough around the edges but this may appeal to many. Has run the US on occasions
- Don

As a leader, John Key will have the vision and skills to make NZ as wealthy as it deserves to be. He will counter the PC nonsense of a Labour-driven "we are all equal" attitude which is the same apathetic mantra as "she'll be right mate!". all yesteryear. It won't be "right" until we have a little more mongrel and attitude in our national psyche; to feel good about winning and proud about our resourcefulness to "punch above our weight" as a little but great country. Roll on 2008, as Rugby World Cup holders from the 2007 drubbing we'll give all opposition, we'll finally have a PM with real clout and mana...reserve the box on half-way at a new and glorious Eden Park for the Key player. Pun intended.
- Randal

My wish is that Don Brash and John Key simply swap roles
- Ian Sampson

Who should succeed Don Brash? Something small, with six legs and a hard shell. An insect or crustacean perhaps. But whatever it is, definitely a higher life form than can be found in the current National party lineup!
- Harold Merriman

Those who actively seek power are the ones we should really be worried about. Brash may not have been a saint, but he was a darn sight better that the sorry lot who are jockeying to succeed him. Brownlee and Key should NEVER be allowed to lead this country.
- Eric

It can only be John Key. Bill English is the one other contender but he has had his chance. For the Herald to even suggest Simon Power is a joke - he is among the most unpopular MPs in Parliament. Key will be the next prime minister, nothing is surer.
- Marko

What new leader? I have lost count on how many unstable leaders the National Party has had over the last 10 years. It's time the National Party folded up and closed down for the sake of the nation.
- Kim Robinson

The National Party has for many years been intellectually bankrupt and Brash proved it every time he opened his mouth. There are no real contenders for this 'poisoned chalice' however John Key seems hell bent on following in the footsteps of surely one of the greatest buffoons New Zealand politics has ever seen.
- Edward Etherington

I hope it is someone who can effectively spell out the arrogance, lack of ethics and honesty, and corruption of the Clark cabal. I hope whoever it is the media focuses on what the Government is doing, or not doing, rather than continually providing smokescreens for Labour. National is not the story, Labour and its puppets are.
- Michael Circa

The Governor General should dissolve parliament now as there is too much muck racking going on and not enough governing of the country.
- N Taylor

I cannot see how the new National leader can be anyone other than Key. Brownlee and English are hardly new blood are they? They've been around since the party's collapse and while experience is valuable, I doubt whether they have anything to offer that isn't just a rehash of 90s Nats policy. Power is too low on the radar, even though I think he'd be better than Key, who will be seen as another millionaire mate of the Business Roundtable. And let's be honest, Key hasn't exactly got a world of experience behind him has he?
- Don Kavanagh

I think Katherine Rich would make a good change of pace for the leadership. She would expand the party's tent and put forward a "kinder, gentler" agenda which the country could rally around.
Too often it's all about who scores the most hurtful "points" against Labour. National should not be primarily about opposing and undermining everything Labour does, but instead recognizing and building upon Labour's successes and making improvements where necessary. By doing that, they prove they are worthy of leading the country--and winning elections. Katherine would be able to do that, but I wonder about the other National leaders listed in the Herald.
- Andrew Straw

I think it's a shame Don has quit because with him in the position of leader of the National Party there was little chance of them winning the next election. Now they have slightly more chance to win simply because all of the leadership contenders have a little more political nous than Don. It would be a great shame if they did win because I am sure their policies won't improve with a new leader. However if I had to choose I think that Bill English is the best of a bad bunch. He is the only one with any integrity; it is unfortunate that he displays the misjudgement to be associated with the rest of the clowns in the National Party.
- John Pollard

I don't care who the new National Party Leader is... but Don Brash should head back to the Reserve Bank. There was no doubt he was an excellent RB Governor.
- Gemma Eyles

The National Party has been floundering around for some years. The party needs to reinvent itself, have a vision and stick to it to be an effective Opposition - then maybe lead the next Government. Not one member has any credibility as a leader, yet.
- Allan Porter

John Key should be the next Prime Minister, and I believe he will be an exceptional one, the likes of which we have not seen for a long time. His oratory skills and level of real world understanding and intelligence have not been seen in NZ politics in my memory. He will be very well received and respected both domestically and Internationally, I say again, it's been a while.
- Steve M

Mickey Mouse would be a suitable leader for this bunch.
They couldn't organise the proverbial party in a brewery, let alone run a country.
- Michael Wood

In regards to Dr Brash's departure, I am very relieved to have less of Dr Brash's ridiculous double talk on the local airwaves and television. New Zealand politics is in a bizarre state indeed.
- Davide Newton

John Key may be the new "Golden Boy" of the National Party, but does he have the strength of character and leadership the party requires? While I am traditionally a Labour voter I also like to have balance in government. Effective opposition under a strong leader is essential to the good governance of this country. The National Party have not had a good, strong leader since Bolger, and some might say since before that time. Thus Labour have had free reign for almost a decade. The governance of this country should reflect the will of the people, and it would be doing that under MMP rather well, if only the major opposition party would settle on a leader and let the electorate get to know them before shafting them and foisting the role onto someone else. Instead Labour is implementing much of their own agenda with nary a wit of protest from the very people whose job it is to do just that! It is time for National to be brave enough to appoint someone with the character and the mettle to fight for what they believe in on the floor of the house. Key has had little to say except "cut taxes" ever since he has appeared on the scene. Every time any other major issue raises its head he ducks for cover lest he tarnish his "media darling" image. Is he more charismatic than Bill English? Without question. But I challenge anyone to find a man or woman who cares with greater passion about this country and its people than Bill English. He does not often shy away from difficult issues and you know he means what he says when he says it.

National could put English back in the driver's seat, only this time around the rest of the party needs to have the gumption to back him up, instead of working to undermine his leadership as happened last time around. Remember too that leadership counts whether in victory or defeat. Brash might have won them the election last time around. He certainly carried National back from the dead on his coat-tails at the last election. But his leadership in the house has been woefully inadequate. The John

Key we have seen so far is, similarly, an empty suit and a smile. He might win the next election for the National party. But who will govern the country in his place if he does?
- Laurence

Don Brash resigned too early for heir apparent Jobn Key to safely take the reins. But he will. About time.
- Nicholas Alexander

This is probably bad for National.
I have yet to read or hear any statement from Mr Key that he is qualified by virtue of intellect, emotion or integrity for the top job.
Making a pile of money is not a qualification - in fact it is probably a liability - as it often leads to a lack of compassion and insight required for sound decision making.
Despite Dr Brash's clumsiness - he is a decent man
And so is Bill English.
Mr Key's conversion to the global warming religion on the basis of the Gore documentary is indicative of a lack of intellectual rigour.
He is not fit and nor will he survive as a leader.
- Dr Montgomery

Doesn't really matter who the next leader is, Labour and their media lefty sycophants will soon be undermining his/her leadership just the same as they constantly undermined Brash's.
- RB

I predicted in my Marae interview 1/10/05 that National MPs behind the mistaken race policy that went "a bridge too far" and cost the election, would resign before the next election. I hope that Dr Brash is not the "sacrificial lamb" allowing those to escape. I wish Dr Brash the very best.
- Dr. Michael Kidd

Bill English AKA Lazarus by far. As a Christian he definitely practised what was preached. Who said the resurrection was a Jesus-only zone?
- Liz

Hmm, next National Party contender? My money is on Gerry Brownlee. The man has a good public speaking figure, good political experience, and seems well placed to lead National. However, due to the soon to be Media Furore over who will lead National, no doubt it will end up being Donkey. Oops, John Key.
- Hayden Nash

I favour John Key. I heard him speak he does not lecture like a typical I know better politican which is a refreshing change. He has youth, drive, vision and financial know-how, as well as the unique quality of being willing to actually listen not just pretend to. The others will make excellent deputies but if National wants to win they will choose Key as leader.
- Martin

It's a good job that D Brash has gone, despite what others may say, Parlimentary behaviour certainly went downhill while he was leader. The Nats have absolutely no-one that is capable of winning the next election in their ranks. If they actually released a policy statement and stood by it, rather than perpetually doing "U" turns on a daily basis, then the public might actually start taking them more seriously. Personally I think the entire National Party is so out of touch on the issues of the day (i.e. Iraq, global warming - until recently they completely refused to accept that it even existed) This makes it extremely difficult to see anyone of their current caucus that is capable of portraying the party as a potential government. History also shows that ex-leaders are not successful in making comebacks and lets be honest (something the Nats have not been good at), they have more than enough of those !!
- Ian Morin

Thank goodness he's gone! Don Brash's disingenuous, "butter wouldn't melt in my mouth" act reminds me of another ancient right wing NZ born politician. Joh Bjelkie Peterson. The pundits have been blithely regarding Brash's flick from the party leadership before the next election as inevitable all year, but our Don waits until now to pull the pin? That implies despite protestations to the contrary, Hager's book does contain damaging revelations about John Keys and that the Nats are trying to defuse the bomb before it explodes, hoping that sympathy for 'poor old Don' will distract everyone from the book's content.
- Phil Sinclair

Give the job to the most honest National Party member .... if one can be found?
- Greg Soar

I favour John Key. He has youth, drive, verve and financial know-how.
- Kim Hutcheson

Maybe it is timely for someone to write a book about Helen Clark
- Tony

Dr Brash has taken far too long to resign. If he believed he wasn't going to lead the party into the next election he should have resigned immediately. Now the next leader for National has a giant mess to clean up and I'm doubtful whether John Key is the right person to do that. I think Bill English should be given a second chance. Labour in Australia have done that for Kim Beasley and the party is now polling at its highest rate since Howard took power. At least Bill has the experience of being in government and in opposition. The rest are far too green.
- Eric

Bill English should re-take the leadership. Mr English is a man of integrity and was doing a good job before he was shoved to make room for Dr Brash. with Bill English at the helm, National stands a better chance at winning the next election.
- Teresa

Mr Brownlee should be the next leader-his mooting skills are articulate and he makes a great voice for the National Party.
-Mike Dixon

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