Hawke's Bay's National contingent say having the hard-nosed Judith Collins as Prime Minister would turn around the region's gang and theft problems.
Tukituki MP Lawrence Yule said the decision to pick Collins as the party's new leader on Tuesday night was "decisive and quick with the full caucus behind it".
"With Judith as our party leader we are saying 'game on' and presenting a strong pitch to the public," he said.
"She will be focusing on policies rather than politics. I am ecstatic about the decision."
He added that Collins' new role would benefit the Hawke's Bay economy.
"She is all about enabling families, which the current Government has failed on," he said.
"She is very strong on law and order and she has a very strong stance on gangs, and Hawke's Bay has a big gang problem.
"She is also looking to reform the RMA and as a farmer's daughter is very supportive of the primary sector in NZ."
Yule said Collins was a leader who would not be afraid of saying what the majority of New Zealand was thinking, but too afraid to say.
"Voters will be able to see the absolute contrast in the parties," he said.
"Don't get me wrong - Jacinda Ardern handled the health crisis really well, but she has limited ability in Cabinet."
National's Napier candidate Katie Nimon said Collins was the leader she and the public wanted.
The National Party hasn't had a woman leader for 19 years, with Collins, 61, the second woman to have the job. Jenny Shipley was the first.
"She's got the most experience and ability to lead the team. And if she is elected as Prime Minister it will be historic."
Nimon said Collins' "strong stance" on law and order would go a long way in areas like Napier.
"She has a hard focus on crime and it is something I am really passionate about," Nimon said.
"We need that for Napier - we have the highest number of car thefts, the biggest increase in gangs and her strong policy on crime is something we need."
Nimon's Napier adversary and police minister Stuart Nash said in response that the Labour Party's track record in law and order stood for itself.
"We have delivered more than 1200 extra police ... We have brought in tougher penalties for gun crime, which National voted against.
"We have backed police with more specialist investigators to go after gangs and organised crime. Under National, police numbers fell and Australian gangs gained a foothold after first arriving in 2008."
Nimon was also asked about her thoughts on Collins' ascent to the leadership after an era of "dirty politics".
"I am fairly new and I don't know what it [dirty politics] is. I personally haven't experienced any dirty politics. I think that's a good thing."
Collins said on Tuesday night she would unite her caucus after their second leadership change in less than two months.
"I think it's really important we all have a common goal and the common goal is to get rid of the current Government and put in place a far better Government focused on the people of this country."
About her taking on Ardern as her adversary, Collins said she'd always respected the Prime Minister and thought the Labour Party had underestimated her for years.
"I think it's important to give credit where it's due," she said.
"But at the same time there is no chance at all that I'm going to let Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern get away with any nonsense when it comes to the economy and doing her job. We will hold her to account."