Simon Bridges: No intention to be National’s leader again

Simon Bridges says he has no intention of becoming the leader of the National Party again.

He told TVNZ’s Q+A on Sunday morning that he was now more laid back and a more mature person since hestopped becoming Leader of the Opposition.

Bridges talked about his new longer hair has “become a thing” but said he would get a hair cut at some stage.

He said the Simon Bridges of old wouldn’t have gone on reality TV shows, like Give Us A Clue because he would have thought there was too much risk.

“I am at a stage where I feel I don’t have a massive amount to lose,” he said.

“When you’re in the national media all the time you lay yourself bare, and now’s the time where I try to get some balance, spend more time with family and get on the odd reality TV show.”

On his book, National Identity, Bridges said it wasn’t written for political motivation.

“If I was writing for political motivation, I wouldn’t be telling New Zealanders about how un-coordinated I am, that I’m religious, that I’ve been beaten up a lot, that I don’t feel particularly masculine at times,” he said.

Bridges said he genuinely didn’t know what the future holds for him.

“All I think I do know is my Protestant work ethic, my DNA, the way I tick, I want to contribute,” he said.

Bridges said he had learned a lot from his grandmother and father and was now hugely reconciled and has a strong belief in his whakapapa and what that means for him.

“Māoris like me, who haven’t grown up on a marae, aren’t fluent in te reo, but nevertheless are every bit just as much Māori as those who have had those experiences,” he said.

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