Judith’s Machiavellian stunt can be forgiven… the end did indeed justify the means.

“This is not House of Cards“, said Luxon, in his first speech, giving the media notice that he will not be bullied and a warning not to go looking for drama and espionage (although Judith’s stunt probably came close).

National has got what it needed, a confident communicator and marketer to go up against the waffler extraordinaire in 2023, already criticising her ‘Mickey Mouse’ traffic light system.

He also said, significantly, “You’ve got my trust, till you don’t.” A warning to Bridges to cease giving Tova telephone time, maybe, or his predicted coveted finance role may slip from his grasp? This sounds like a man who demands discipline and results. My kind of person.

Comfortable in his skin, and self-deprecating, he is unapologetic about his wealth and refuses to take the PC route by apologising to a cynical media looking for blood in his first day on the job. No running questions through a wokeometer before he fires a response and actually answers the question.

He has already made some mistakes when questioned by school marmish Jenna Lynch but he just shrugged it off. Standing his ground on questions around his wealth and the fact he didn’t know the amount of his income from his properties last year. He is proud of his success, it is what people aspire to, he says. Luxon is authentic, flaws and all.

His self-belief and slick communication style come from real-life success in the business world, whereas narcissistic Ardern’s misguided self-belief is based on her flawed destructive ideology which is destroying our country.

She won’t stand a chance.

It did not take long to convince me that Luxon has presence and charisma, Like Ardern. It is that indefinable thing that can’t be manufactured. He is pretty much saying what Bridges and Collins have been communicating for the large part, well, regarding their policies.

However, it’s a case of ‘it’s not what you say but the way you say it’. In his first speech, this extrovert achiever grabbed the audience’s attention and they liked his performance.

He also tackled the Christianity question to clear up misconceptions. His faith is personal to him, he doesn’t go to church and he respects others’ rights to their beliefs. End of story. No doubt the media will run with this for the next two years as Christianity is not the faith du jour at present.

One thing I beg of him is to shun (most) media training as he has his own style and writes his own speeches, so won’t get hijacked by others’ agendas. (Now, with a little help from former speechwriter Willis, I assume). He does not want to become another Jacinda or Nanaia clone, learning set pieces to parrot which bear no relation to the question. 

On reflection, I have no fear of this. He has (deliciously) almost an arrogance in his approach to the media, borne from his immense self-belief, which I wish other leaders had adopted.

At first blush, Christopher Luxon seems to be the answer to National’s woes. Talented Dr Reti had the goods, but is not a marketer, which is what they lacked, but didn’t know until now.

Not a House of Cards
Wendy Geus

Wendy Geus

I did my writing apprenticeship as a communications advisor. Like all writers, I am highly opinionated, so freelance writing is best for me. I abhor moral posturing, particularly by NZ politicians. I avoid...