The political year has begun and it’s great to get back  into it.

Never before in New Zealand’s history has a government faced such a strong and large opposition, and we are not wasting this opportunity that our country has.

The Labour-led coalition was nothing short of shambolic last year, and it’s our job to make sure they get it together so there is no government negligence.

We left the country in good shape with a strong economy. If things go badly, the public should ask why and as your elected representative I step up.

Any government has to be answerable and a good opposition makes this happen. It identifies serious issues that could be damaging to New Zealand.

My focus will be to support good policies and challenge the government when they go off track. I am not there to be a trouble maker or to hold things up.

If they implement good policies, National will support them.

There are examples of this already. We supported the government on paid parental leave and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), but we will not support polices that make no sense, like getting rid of tax cuts.

So the next time you hear someone say “National is being disruptive” I hope you will think, no, National is doing its job and debating the issues that matter to New Zealanders.

We are a vigorous opposition because we are expected to be and need to be.

Simon Bridges
National MP