The New Zealand National Party is one of the country's primary political parties. Its traditional platforms have mainly been centrist or right-of-center. The party's moderate tendencies shouldn't be particularly surprising, given its history. It was born from a merger between the conservative Reform Party and the liberal United Party.

The party has hit relatively rougher times recently. Not long ago at all, it was the dominant force in New Zealand politics. But factors such as internal strife and the COVID-19 pandemic left the party in a weakened state.

The New Zealand Herald reports that the National Party now looks to Christopher Luxon as its new leader. Which also effectively makes him New Zealand's new leader of the opposition.

Assumed both roles on November 30, 2021

Christopher Luxon was tapped by his party to take over the leadership on November 30. He was unopposed in the leadership election. The only other candidate who'd been seriously considered was Simon Bridges, who'd led the party from 2018 to 2020.

As indicated by Bloomberg, Luxon had long been considered as a potential head of the party. He has long ties to former Prime Minister John Key, who openly backed Luxon for the job. Despite this, he's new to being a politician on an official basis, beginning in 2019.

He was then chosen as a national nominee for a seat in the New Zealand House of Representatives. Luxon's electorate is Botany, located in the central region of the country's North Island.

The office of the New Zealand National Party leader has become something of a revolving door as of late. Luxon has become the sixth official leader of the party in the last five years, not counting any acting leaders along the way.

As recently as under Prime Minister Bill English, the party was the most powerful in New Zealand. But more recently, it's been relegated to opposition status. Meanwhile, its main rival, the New Zealand Labour Party, runs the government. The sea change occurred after the Labour Party allied with controversial nationalist politician Winston Peters.

The combined strength of Labour with Peters and his followers was enough to wrestle away control of the government.

The leadership of the Nationals opened after the ousting of Judith Collins the week before Luxon's ascension. Collins was toppled amidst an open rivalry between her and Simon Bridges.

A new deputy leader of the party was also selected on the same day. Nicola Willis would win the job. A member of the House of Representatives since 2018, Willis holds a seat via the party's seat list. She's also a former staffer for Bill English and John Key.

Previously led New Zealand's primary airline

Christopher Luxon graduated from the University of Canterbury with a master's degree in commerce.

His father was an executive with Johnson & Johnson, and his mother was a therapist.

Luxon's career has included serving as a top executive with the consumer goods company Unilever. In 2011, he joined Air New Zealand. Shortly after, he was chosen to succeed Rob Fyfe as the airline's CEO. Luxon resigned from Air New Zealand shortly before formally entering politics.