Haimona Piriti character jug produced by Paul Rayner of Whanganui, New Zealand, circa 2015. Simon Joseph Bridges (1976 - ), or Haimona Piriti in Maori, is a former New Zealand politician and lawyer. He served as Leader of the National Party and Leader of the Opposition between 2018 and 2020, and as the Member of Parliament for Tauranga from the 2008 election to May 2022, when he resigned. A self-described "compassionate conservative", Bridges served in several Cabinet positions, including Minister of Transport (2014-2017) and Minister of Economic Development (2016-2017). He took the role of Leader of the House from May to October 2017. He became the first person with Maori ancestry to serve as leader of a major party in New Zealand.