A keen cyclist, a transport enthusiast, father, and the son of a revered chauffeur driver, National MP Brett Hudson has occupied Parliament's back bench for half a decade.

But who is he? For many Kiwis, that's a fair question. There are 120 MPs in Parliament and only about 10-15 are regularly in the news.

Of those, only three or four would be household names.

Brett Hudson, unfortunately for him, is not one of them.


So who is Brett Hudson? In his own words, describing himself: "He's a former IT professional with some pretty strong opinions around the economy and the country."

Born in 1968, Hudson became interested in politics at just 13. He was fascinated by Sir Robert Muldoon.

He said there were a few things he liked about "Rob" – referring to one of the country's most prominent prime ministers as if he were an old friend.

Even at such a young age, Hudson said he could see the flaws with Muldoon's economic policies, such as the freezes on prices and wages.

But, nevertheless, he said he quite liked him. "He struck me as quite pugilistic – not that I would use that word at 13." (Essentially, it's a fancy word for a boxer – someone who's always ready for a scrap.)

"He was a feisty, hard nut with character and I quite liked that because I was 13 and beginning to rebel."

From then, Hudson has always been a National true blue believer. In 2011, he ran National's Wellington Central campaign and, after expressing an interest in being an MP, came in on the party list in 2014.

"You either have to do something, or quit moaning," he said.

Hudson and I were having lunch at Backbencher pub, across the road from Parliament.

The lunchtime rush had not yet begun and we had the pick of the place, which was festooned with large caricature puppets of politicians along its walls.

He opted to sit under Gerry Brownlee and former National leader and prime minister Bill English, rather than under Winston Peters wearing his "make New Zealand great again" cap.

Herald political reporter Jason Walls and National Party list MP Brett Hudson peruse the menu at the Backbencher pub in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Herald political reporter Jason Walls and National Party list MP Brett Hudson peruse the menu at the Backbencher pub in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

I quickly learn that becoming an MP was not his family's first brush with the political class of New Zealand.

His father, Rocky Hudson, was a ministerial chauffeur for 15 years in the late 70s, and into the 80s.

In fact, before he left the job he was the third most experienced driver the government had.

"He drove them all," Hudson said, referring to famous politicians from the time.

David Lange and Muldoon were both passengers of Hudson's father at one point.

He also drove Hudson's 2014 Ōhāriu electoral rival, United Future leader Peter Dunne, many years ago too.

Dunne found out that Rocky Hudson used to be his driver at a meet the candidates gathering in 2014 before he and Hudson debated at a town hall meeting.

But the most famous person Rocky Hudson got to drive was not Lange or Muldoon, it was Princess Diana.

During her second trip to New Zealand, he was her driver for most of her visit.

"He clearly, clearly loved the opportunity. Which man in the world was not in love with her when she was the princess?"

But Hudson didn't hear a lot of stories – "drivers take their job very professionally. They heard a lot of things in those cars and they wouldn't repeat them".

Before long he's cut off by a waiter coming to take our order. He orders a diet coke. It's 11.48 – almost midday; I order a beer.

National List MP Brett Hudson on his family connection to NZ politics.

Hudson is keen to talk about transport.

He is particularly hot on Let's Get Wellington Moving, a Wellington local government transport project.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester is unveiling details of the project today and it's fair to say Hudson has a few issues with the scheme, even before it's unveiled.

He called it a "huge loss-making exercise" and is sceptical about the delivery of light rail.

"Our view on this," he said, summing up his six-minute take on the scheme, "is they [the Government] will think it's a big announcement, we think there will be some elements that are good but overall it will be underwhelming."

"Look out for my press release," he tells me with a grin.

I'm getting hungry and decide to scour the menu.

There is the J. Ardern fresh fish, the G. Robertson's sirloin steak, the A. Little risotto, the G. Brownlee arancini and the P. Bennett salmon salad.

Hudson goes for the Sir Winston's lamb rump.

I follow suit. In our defence, it did look pretty good.

"If you could have a dish named after you, what would it be?"

"A steak," he says with almost no hesitation.

No trimmings, as he's on a low carb diet – "just full-on protein. Juicy, big and rare".

To end the lunch, I throw a few quick-fire questions his way.

He is good for the first couple of questions.

What are you watching on Netflix? Luther.

What is your desert island movie? The Godfather series.

Will you ever be Prime Minister? No.

Who was New Zealand's best ever Prime Minister? Helen Clark – (I'm kidding, he said John Key.)

Could you take National MP Mark Mitchell, in a fight? With a weapon, yes.

However, when I ask what he would change about New Zealand, he speaks for three minutes straight about changing "our approach to regulation".

Lunch date over.

Brett Hudson:

Age: 51
Born: Auckland
Elected to Parliament: 2014
Electorate: Ōhāriu (list)
Fun fact: An avid cyclist
Backbencher meal ordered: Sir Winston's lamb rump