Former Finance Minister Steven Joyce has become the fifth and, most likely, final, National MP to enter National’s leadership race

“I have a reputation for getting things done,” National’s most recently declared leadership candidate, Steven Joyce, told reporters on the way to the party’s caucus meeting on Tuesday morning.

The former Minister of Finance had taken to the airwave to announce his candidacy for leader of the Opposition just hours earlier, telling Newstalk ZB, he had been asked by his colleagues to run for National’s leadership.  

He is the fifth and, most likely last, National MP to announce they are contesting the role after outgoing leader Bill English said last week he was resigning as leader and quitting politics.

Joyce joins Judith Collins, Simon Bridges and Amy Adams – all of whom declared their intentions last Wednesday. Former policeman Mark Mitchell revealed on Monday this week he was vying for the top job as well.

Like Collins, Bridges and Adams, Joyce is leaning on his political experience as his main trump card to convince his colleagues he is the person for the job.

“I think I have a reputation for getting things done – I’ve been active in government and the party for quite a period of time now and have quite a strong track record in that area.”

In addition to being an MP since 2008 and holding various different ministerial portfolios in the time since – including finance – Joyce has played a vital role behind the scenes of the National Party.

He chaired the review into the devastating 2002 election, where National won just 21% of the vote. He then became the party’s first general manager, managing the 2005 campaign.

He has chaired every campaign committee since then.

It is likely because of his strong connection to the party that he is attempting to distance himself from personality politics.

On the radio, he was at pains to point out his leadership bid was about “the future of New Zealand – it’s not about me.”

He reiterated this on Tuesday morning before heading into the Caucus meeting, also adding it’s “not about any of our other competitors.”

Another numbers man?

If Joyce is elected, he will be the second former Finance Minister in a row to hold the position. Before English, former currency trader John Key was Prime Minister for about eight years.

Is that too many numbers men – does National’s leadership need a bit more diversification?

“I’m a bit broader than that,” Joyce says.

“I think you saw that in the budget last year that the initiatives around lower-income families, which largely the current government has adopted, with a few changes.”

He says these initiatives were supported by English, who Joyce says was “very keen on them.”

Joyce is also quick to take aim at the Government – a Government which he points out was appointed by NZ First Leader Winston Peters.

His strategy to win the 2020 election would be to clearly hold the Government to its promises which, he says, it won’t be able to meet.

“At the moment, they are just a set of platitudes which is great, everyone can sign up to the things they aspire to, as we have in the past.

“The challenge is delivery – I don’t think they will be able to deliver on their ideas and to also make sure we keep a strong focus on that positive future for New Zealand.”

‘Hi sweeties’

Joyce would not say if he thought the party needed a new deputy, only that it is up to the Caucus.

He did, however, say current Deputy Leader Paula Bennett was doing a “fantastic job.”

Bennett says the Caucus would be making some of the “procedural decisions” around if there would be a vote for deputy leader, as well as the leader, today.

She says a statement about the outcome of the discussions in Caucus will be made later on Tuesday.

She says she’s not concerned at all – “I think it’s important the new leadership team has a clear mandate. I’m just looking forward to it.”

Asked if there could be a vote on the Deputy Leadership today, she again says that is a decision for Caucus.

“I think it’s quite common sense that people want to see who the leader is and then make those sorts of decisions.”

Bennett did not say who she is supporting for leader, but said she would be happy to serve as the deputy under any one of the five declared leadership contenders.

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They obviously pushed Bill. Bloodless, but the stench is becoming palpable. You catch a whiff of it as Collins et al speak of how colleges having supposedly made Christmas time approaches voicing their support.

They'll all be at each others throats right up until the next election.

Pity Joyce used disinformation during the election with the 11.7 billion dollar hole. He'll have that in his face for the rest of his life - with journalists like Guyon at RNZ.


Nice fella Stephen Joyce. But his view was that we would grow the economy by keeping New Zealanders incomes down. Why have a policy objective that keeps incomes down. (immigration just one method) He still thinks that from what I heard on RNZ this morning.

Stephen Joyce yesterday’s man
NZ now has a fresh young new PM
Does NZ really believe in an old dinosaur like Joyce ?
Repeating the past is gross stupidity.
Duplicity is his main trait NZ can do without

He's 54. If that's a dinosaur then I suspect some on this forum are paleozoic i.e. fresh from the swamp.

Well there you have it folks. If you are 54 or over you are a dinosaur, washed up, yesterdays man with nothing useful to contribute.

Might as well lower the superannuation age to 55 then :)

I refer you to NorthernLights, he/she is the self appointed expert in this field.

Joyce is only 54? He just seems so much older - probably because he wholeheartedly embraces an economic ideology that's just about had its day. Not so much 'self-made' as lucky, his radio network mostly consisted of the acquisition of formerly state-owned, privatised radio stations that were built up with decades of taxpayer funds prior to the 1980s. Funny that.

Dead right but I reckon the Nats will retreat into what they know, old fart conservatism, with a nod to the younger lot with Kaye as 2IC. He is the only foil they have against Labour and (more than NZF) the Greens, who I predict will, in time, become the de facto coalition partner, especially if they elect Julie Ann Genter as co leader, she is a smart cookie. National will be looking to reclaim some of that NZF vote, and they probably will. Labour and the Greens need to look to the new generation of voters, to replace them. I think the younger ones are going a bit more politically active, and not just here.


Not all will agree but there was within the last National Government, in my opinion, a mandate that big corporate business ranked well ahead of the little people. And in that image, National created, or thought they did, Corporate New Zealand until the electorate finally turned and said no thanks. Seemed to be that National thought to treat the ordinary tax payer on the street, no better than any big corporate treats a minority shareholder. Joyce was an architect and enforcer of that and when that extraordinarily huge taxi fare in Sydney emerged, seems like he was behaving in typical mogul fashion. That history is a stigma that will stick. National now needs fresh air, just like Labour finally realised, and almost too late.

I somewhat tend to agree but think that was more John Keys mandate.

Bill English had a different approach and was more centered on SME's and the flow through. BE understood what was going on right across every industry and the effects......

Those left in National don't impress me too much but National are still better than this crazy left-wing lot..........

Corporate NZ ?
Like the superb management at Fonterrra & Fletchers ?
I have great hopes for the current new government
Obviously I am not alone because the currency is doing rather well

Agreed and it is ironic. All that government cronyism with big business, you can go back Muldoon, Trotter, Davis etc, ends up going down it’s own vortex just like all subsidies. Tax payer bail outs BNZ, Air NZ for example. And equally, ineptitude by high powered over paid fat cat unaccountable executive outcoming in the disgraceful results of late at Fonterra, Fletchers. Yep the combined greed & self interest of corporate and government has never been much good for the ordinary NZ’r.

Fonterrible was Helen Clark's pet project .... and Feltcher's was the Jolly Kid's protected and mollycoddled company ...

... hopefully , Jacinda Adern takes care of the SME's .... the true engine room of our economy , cumulatively the largest employers and greatest innovators ....when it comes to our businesses , she has an incentive to take great care of our babies and toddlers ... ...

But Stephen Joyce ? ..... .. stay in the backroom fella .... keep crunching the numbers ... find the missing $ 17 billion , Sherlock .... ... and keep sticking the pins into your Winston Peters doll ...

The SMEs? No one cares about them old sport! They are demonised as the exploitative class, the employers. Governments see them as a source of revenue, not as customers to be cherished and profited from strictly on the basis of mutual benefit. Sucking up to Big Business is the politicians' way, got to line up those lucrative directorships for when you get booted out.

I thought Stephen Joyce was a self made man?

Hope springs eternal reality often disappoints as I expect this govt will.

I am sure Jacinda will be hoping that Joyce gets elected/selected.

I'm sure she will given hope is one of her core strengths.

this is turning into a comedy, was this not sold to us as the stable dependable government party,
they go away for Xmas holidays and all start sharping their knives, come back from holiday say bill on your bike i can do a better job, no i can, no my mate over there can simon bridges says simon bridges can

National stable = oxymoron
Amy Adams Crusher Colin’s Stephen Joyce
Amy is just a lightweight
Crusher has soiled her nest
Stephen has shown duplicity & arrogance with a smirk
What a choice

Yes awful selection
Next election is Labour's to lose

Ideally there would have been two of them, offering a discernible contrast to show the Public that they are actually thinking about the direction of the party.

Also shows that they are broadly unified.

Two is a nice day out,
FIVE is a riot!

Simon Bridges youthful exuberance won’t cut it.
Paula Bennett the most likeable & competent mix she would be my pick amongst the 5
She would offer a real choice for voters against Jacinda but Nats are too stupid to make Paula leader
Hence it will be Joyce purely because Crusher soiled her nest long ago & she’s far more risky
Congrats to the Zoologist
Off to Japan folks god bless you all

There is nothing to be lost by putting your name forward in this situation. Its not a coup.
I'm not sure if it will be a weeding out process or a one-off vote but by having so many hats in the ring, an unexpected winner might emerge.
But National will be very wary of voting in one of those who supported making Winnies super over payment public because they lost the election for National.

Joyce is still a defendant. Along with current deputy Bennett. Sticky.

The one thing that has disappeared in New Zealand in the past six years is our middle class. We are either haves or have nots, there's nothing in between anymore.

Based on what premise? So we're either rich or poor? Nothing in between? Is this substantiated by research? Perhaps an in-depth view on the Gini score?

Not based on the Gini score, based on life and my interaction with the people around me. The recent National party has been populist not centralist like some in the media tried to portray them. Look at the CEO salary ratio to worker wage. Look at the empty shops in my town while big box shops keep being built. Look at the multiple farm ownership structures. Look at the butchers and grocer stores disappearing as more supermarkets open. Look at the ever increasing bank profits. And then look at how much we spend on family income subsidies because so many families (on wages alone) are not being paid enough to live.

Yep & the only way the have nots can have it, as they see it, is to grab it from those who do have it. Hence rise in crime and violence. History tells. La Marseillaise for example.

If that is all they can see then they need a lens upgrade because their understanding is way out of focus.

If that is what you think, then I know who needs new glasses, perhaps even a guide dog.

Middle class heavily in debt too.
Decline in middle class commenced in 1950s if you look at the data.
Debt replaced savings long ago

Hahaha he couldn't get BE across the line

BAHAHAHA. Can you imagine the headlines if Joyce ever sits on the Iron Throne? "Dildo Minister gets Top Job". I can imagine the John Oliver special already.

I can imagine what his mace will resemble :)

I wonder when the property spruikers finally wake up to the fact that their support of National is actually damaging their favorite party.

About the same time that the Left wake up and realise they've been supporting a PM who would struggle to lead a Primary School let alone the Nation.

Come on now I think she would be perfect to lead a Primary School.

Joyce will be the leader
Bennett will be nowhere
Consider Coleman for deputy

Listen for the sound of steel on steel as Collins sharpens her knives, again

Or it could similarly, be the sound of her ramming shot into the blunderbus.

On second thoughts, 2IC could actually be none other than Nikki Kaye.

I'm not from the left or even liberal in my views.
But I have been in business long enough to know a successful leader does't have to be especially smart or skilled, they build a team around themselves and have the confidence to employ the best. Jacinda was bloody impressive in how she got all the moderate Maoris onside up at Waitangi thereby causing the radicals to back off. AND she did it with humility and humour, both great attributes in getting your own way. And yes I was up there and it was the most calm it has been in years.

Think Coleman will get to be the compromise candidate ? With Adams as Deputy ? A North-South balancing Act perhaps ?

My money is now firmly on a Joyce/Kaye ticket. Didn't think of her as deputy as I ruled her out from the go (mainly on her health issues) but I think deputy could be a good fit.

Jacinda still has to have her kid. The next National leader with suffer from lack of oxygen, bigtime. They should have waited. But no they obviously couldn't control their will to power. Sign of things to come.

If Collins doesn't get the top job she'll start undermining the winner on the way out of the caucus room.

Actually if she does not get top job I reckon she won't last much longer in politics, as there are surely only so many shots you can have at it and miss out before you maybe get the idea you are just not going to get there. I think becoming the leader is the only reason she is still there to be honest.

He says he is got a reputation for getting things done. BUT he failed to set National up with a MMP partner into Government. In fact he is Defendant Number 1, in on going court proceedings with the main man. That's a colossal failure.

Hold your horses.........

A late run from Gerry Brownlee is on the cards.


Another high calibre contender....not!

Could just shove himself to the head of the queue.

What about Jian Yang as National Party leader?
He could lead NZ as a kind of colonial outpost, ensure that pesky academics don’t write insightful articles, & lead NZ to a ‘better understanding” of Asia-pacific issues.

Haha too late

“I have a reputation for getting things done,”.
What a simply ghastly creature.
Really, deceit and lies, in his mind happily residing under “things done”, isn’t something one should ever put on their “brag sheet”.

Custard - is exactly what this Govt will turn into when the over promises and over spend's eventuate and the electors realize that Stephen was not only on the money but that his estimate was too low and taxpayers are picking the bill up as more debt more tax or just more broken promises (Lies)

Silly wishful thinking!

Preferred PM.......? Hmmm...... Just wondering how any of those Nats will go making headway in that particular category. What a series blood baths.

It's a gross miscalculation in the making - the National Party should have waited until after Jacinda Ardern has her baby for their little race off.