PM wannabes: Fast facts on Collins, English and Coleman

4:47 pm on 7 December 2016

One will be Prime Minister on Monday. Here's what you need to know about the three contenders for the top job.

Bill English

Bill English announcing he's running for job of PM

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Name: Simon William (Bill) English

Age: 54

Former profession: Farmer, policy analyst for Treasury. Entered Parliament in 1990.

Ministerial portfolios held: Finance, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Deputy Prime Minister. Long-standing MP for Clutha-Southland, although now a list MP.

Political leaning: Conservative. Anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, voted against the Marriage Amendment Bill.

Best known for: Budgets, being John Key's right-hand man and his spectacular 2002 election defeat against Labour's Helen Clark (he was briefly National's leader from 2001 to 2002).

Scandal and controversy: He paid back some of his ministerial housing allowance in 2009 after it emerged he claimed nearly $1000 per week to live in his family home in Wellington, including for power and cleaning.

Private life: A Catholic, he is married to a GP and has six children.

On his bid to be PM: "I can focus on some of the intricacies of complicated issues."

Judith Collins

Judith Collins being appointed as a Minister again 14.12.15.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Name: Judith Anne Collins

Age: 57

Former profession: Lawyer. Entered Parliament in 2002.

Ministerial portfolios held: Justice, ACC, Ethnic Affairs, Corrections, Police. MP for Papakura.

Political leaning: On the conservative right of the National caucus.

Best known for: Her hard-line on boy racers earned her the name "Crusher Collins".

Scandal and controversy:

- Dirty Politics 2014: She was accused of leaking information to her friend and right-wing blogger Cameron Slater in the book Dirty Politics. She resigned from Cabinet after allegations she tried to undermine the Serious Fraud Office director. An inquiry cleared her of wrongdoing.

- Oravida 2014: She visited the Shanghai offices of Oravida, of which her husband is a director, while on a taxpayer-funded trip. The company used her photo as a product endorsement.

- Wetlands comments 2014: It emerged swamp kauri had been stockpiled in Northland under the name Oravida Kauri, another business linked to Oravida and Ms Collins' husband. She outraged environmentalists by telling a reporter she did not care, saying, "Am I the Minister of Wetlands?"

Private life: Grew up on a Matamata farm. She is married to businessman David Wong-Tung and they have one son.

On her bid to be PM: "It's about who can deliver a National-led government, do whatever deals are needed."

Jonathan Coleman

National MP Jonathan Coleman.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Name: Dr Jonathan David Coleman

Age: 50

Former profession: Medical doctor, health consultant. Entered Parliament in 2005.

Ministerial portfolios held: Immigration, Defence, State Services, Sport and Recreation, Health. MP for Northcote.

Political leaning: Conservative. Voted against the Marriage Amendment Bill.

Best known for: Smoking a cigar in a British American Tobacco corporate box at a U2 concert, health funding troubles.

Scandal and controversy:

- The U2 concert in 2006. He was National's associate health spokesman at the time.

- Accused of bullying the Canterbury District Health Board over funding issues, on the back of sacking the Southern District Health Board in 2015.

- Dunedin Hospital patients complained about the food they were served. Mr Coleman ate a hospital meal (behind closed doors) and claimed to love it.

Private life: Grew up in Auckland, attending Auckland Grammar. Married with two children. Has a holiday home in Omaha, the same beach where outgoing Prime Minister John Key has a house.

On his bid to be PM: "We've got to build on the excellent platform that we've been working off for the last eight years."

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