Lloyd Burr writes:
Forget Judith Collins, Simon Bridges, or Nikki Kaye. Or any of the other possible leadership contenders in parliament for National.
The one to watch isn’t even an MP yet.
Her name is Nicola Willis.
Poor Nicola. MPs, and aspiring MPs, hate being labelled a future leader. It’s like a kiss of death. You normally have to put up with it once you are an MP, but unusual to have a journalist call you out before you are even an MP.
She’s young, she’s smart, she’s articulate, and she’s photogenic.
She’s an incredibly hard worker, and she’s socially progressive, and an environmentalist.
She’s not a right-wing conservative. She’s a centrist. Unlike the current crop she doesn’t speak fluent politic. She can talk to the everyday Kiwi.
She’s also a mother to four young kids, and had them while she was climbing the ladder of the biggest dairy company in the world, Fonterra.
Having four young kids while holding a senior corporate job is no mean feat.
I’ve hosted a number of debates and events where Willis represented the National Party.Every time she was an impressive debater. Far better than the drivel that dominates Parliament; there’s empathy, warmth, and compassion, but also toughness and ruthlessness.
Nicola is a very impressive debater. I am looking forward to seeing her in action in the House in due course.