9 Mar 2021

National Party discusses post-election review of crushing defeat

12:55 pm on 9 March 2021

The National Party caucus is meeting today to discuss the findings of a review that investigates its crushing defeat in last year's election.

National Party leader Judith Collins.

National's leader Judith Collins remained tight-lipped on the contents of the report today. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The review was launched in the aftermath of the election and extended to the past three years in opposition.

The party's caucus shrank dramatically following the election, with 23 fewer seats in Parliament than the last election.

National's leader Judith Collins remained tight-lipped on the contents of the report.

"This is a board review, it is a matter for the the National Party board and I'll be discussing it with caucus," Collins said.

National's senior whip Matt Doocey was among those who had already read the report before today's caucus meeting.

He described its contents as "confronting".

"It is something we are going to have to own, gain trust back in our members and learn from and take a step forward for the next election," he said.

Former leader Simon Bridges deflected questions about the report, instead opting to talk about the Oprah Winfrey interview.

"I thought you were going to ask me about Harry and Meghan - as an avid royal watcher myself I've got a lot of thoughts on all of that - but in relation to the report, who knows, we are going to discuss it at caucus today," Bridges said.

While speaking to reporters, Bridges stood next to Todd Muller, the man who rolled him as party leader last year.

The pair did not answer questions on their roles in the party's defeat last year.

"I don't like this line of questioning, particularly when I though it was about Meghan and Harry, so I'm going to leave right now," Bridges said.

Bridges told reporters as he walked off that he intended to watch the Oprah interview on TV this evening.

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