Reshuffles, blunders, controversy and unity - Todd Muller's first week as the National Party leader has attracted plenty of attention.
In his first week, Muller has reshuffled his shadow cabinet, taken over the small business portfolio, been criticised for the lack of diversity in the party's top tier, been blasted for having a Make America Great Again cap on display in his office, before tucking said hat in a box out of eye's view.
Muller became the new leader of the National Party on May 22, after a behind-closed-doors caucus meeting that voted to oust Simon Bridges from the position. The emergency meeting followed two polls that put National at about 30 per cent support.
Muller told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend he had enjoyed his first week in the job and was confident his party, which he would lead through to the September election, would win.
"Well, I've absolutely loved it," Muller said.
"My kids think I've done well, I'm sure there'll be others out there who'll have, you know, everyone will hold a view on it but I tell you what counts, ultimately on September 19. That is the judgment, the judgment is which party has the best recovery plan for New Zealand and families and communities, and I have every confidence that we will," he said.
National MP and Rotorua MP Todd McClay, who held the small business portfolio before the change of leadership, said he would "easily" rate Muller a "10 out of 10" in his first week at the top.
"And that's not just because he's my boss, he's done an amazing job."
McClay said the caucus was united and behind Muller and he was receiving a lot of positive feedback from the Rotorua electorate.
"I think he's had a great start."
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In regards to the controversy surrounding Muller's MAGA cap and criticism of a lack of diversity in the caucus, McClay said what would matter was the rebuilding of the economy.
"We are one of the most diverse caucuses in Parliament and everybody in that caucus has been given a job to do."
McClay's was tourism and he said he would deliver the "best policy New Zealand has seen for tourism".
Other features of Muller's first week as leader include claims of division caused by the challenge for the top job, chronicled Labour's failings, defending his deputy leader Nikki Kaye for her "error" of claiming a non-Māori MP was "obviously Ngāti Porou" and finished the week with his first media opportunity on home ground yesterday, at Apata Group Ltd, talking to staff and hearing first-hand how business was going post Covid-19 lockdown.
Muller yesterday announced his first policy, saying businesses will be offered a $10,000 cash payment for taking on more staff if it wins the election. He would also keep 90-day trials and said there would be "regular, incremental" increases in the minimum wage as part of the "JobStart scheme".
"JobStart will give small business owners greater confidence to hire new people," Muller told members of the Rosebank Business Association.
"Small business owners who create jobs will be the heroes of this economic crisis, in the way that our nurses, doctors and all five million of us who stayed home were the heroes of the health crisis."
The scheme would start on November 1 and run until the end of March 2021, in the hope of creating 50,000 new jobs.
Western Bay of Plenty's Kaimai Ward councillor Margaret Murray-Benge said there were far more important things to worry about than a "memento" picked up in the United States such as the MAGA cap, describing it as a "memory".
"We want to know where we're going as a country," Murray-Benge said.
She believed Muller had done well in his first week as Opposition leader, saying she would give him a 7 out of 10.
Murray-Benge said she was "thrilled with the way he came out" and was impressed by his shadow Cabinet announcement, especially Kaye as deputy and Amy Adams in the number three spot.
"I think it's wonderful for New Zealand and wonderful for women," Murray-Benge said.
"I think it's a huge step forward for women," she said.
The only thing that let him down, she said, was while answering questions from the media, surprised that he "elaborated" too much. She would like him to stand up for himself and not be picked on but "it's early days".
Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey described Muller's first week as a "shambles", with National having disregard to Māori.
"It seems that when they rolled their first-ever leader and deputy leader with whakapapa Māori, their commitment to Māori went out the door, too," Coffey said.
"No Māori in their shadow cabinet, calls from his senior colleague Judith Collins about feeling demonised by the Treaty Partnership and now he's kicked off a petition to overturn the Environment Court decision to create marine reserves off Motītī Island. I'll leave it to Tauranga Māori to judge him on his actions."
Local Labour list MP Angie Warren-Clark said her focus was what they were doing in Government.
"Their politics is their business," she said.