The congratulations have simmered down and now Tauranga and Western Bay leaders are looking forward to shining a light on issues the region faces with the help of National Party leader and local MP, Simon Bridges.

Bridges was announced as the party's new leader on Tuesday afternoon, while Paula Bennett retained her deputy role.

Issues related to the growth of Tauranga City were in the forefront of city leaders' minds when asked what campaign they would like to see Bridges tackle first.

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Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless would like to see Bridges help councils get infrastructure projects off the ground to create more housing in the region.

However, he said it was also important to address transport issues before the city was"choked up" any further.

Brownless acknowledged that Bridges also had the rest of the country to focus on.

"We can't pretend we are the only city in the country with issues."

Brownless said although it was the Opposition's duty to hold the Government to account, it was important for the National Party to work with the Government on issues both parties agreed on.

Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec would like to see some Tauranga-related issues get prominence but it may not "be a good look" for Bridges to start his campaign with an "obviously parochial focus".

Gregec said he would like Bridges to keep "the pot simmering" on aspects of industrial relations and immigration changes brought in by the Government.

"As well as offer some kind of solution to the extra challenges the high growth northern regions such as Bay of Plenty and Waikato face, especially with transport and housing affordability," he said.


"But I appreciate he's now got the whole country's challenges to think about as well."

Nigel Tutt, the chief executive of economic development agency Priority One, said Bridges' first campaign should be to articulate National's vision for New Zealand driven by a strong economy.

"Closer to home, we believe he should be pushing the Government to invest in regional infrastructure in Tauranga as a huge growth region."

Tutt would like to see Bridges hold the Government to account in regards to the study into relocating the Port of Auckland to Northland.

"Specifically why the Port of Tauranga would appear not to be considered."

Bridges could not be reached for comment and Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber did not wish to comment.