Audio from a June 4 conversation between Simon Bridges and Jami-lee Ross reveals Mr Bridges mocking several National MPs and calling one "f**king useless".
Mr Ross released the audio, which he recorded without Mr Bridges' knowledge, on Wednesday after making a formal police complaint about allegations of electoral donation fraud.
In the audio, Mr Ross tells Mr Bridges the $100,000 donation from "two Chinese guys" is now in and asks what he wants done with it.
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Mr Bridges thanks him and says National will use that money for attack ads, "not outside of the party".
"The money's fine sitting in the Botany account," Mr Ross can be heard saying. "I don't know what your arrangement with [party president Peter] Goodfellow is."
Mr Bridges then muses about what to tell Mr Goodfellow about the donation, although it's unclear if he intended certain information to be kept from him or not.
"I don't think we can raise tens of thousands and completely keep him out of the loop," Mr Ross can be heard saying. "Maybe if you're just honest with him about it."
"No we can't, I think you're right," Mr Bridges replies. "We should probably just think it through."
"It can be in the party, but we want to make sure we've got that money to do those things, don't you think?"
Mr Ross said the donation as it had been listed meets the disclosure requirements because it was a party donation from multiple people.
"If it was a candidate donation it's different, so making it a party donation is the way to do it."
Mr Bridges says he thinks Mr Goodfellow will accept it once he explains what he wants from the money.
"There's no catch to it," Mr Ross says of the donation, and mentions one of the donors possibly becoming a party candidate and going through "candidate college".
Mr Bridges said it would depend on where the party was polling at the time.
"Two Chinese would be nice, but then would it be one Chinese and one Filipino?"
"Two Chinese would be more valuable than two Indians, I have to say," Mr Ross replied.
"Yeah, which is what we've got at the moment," Mr Bridges said.
"But the problem there is you'll end up in a shit fight because you've got a list MP, you've got two list MPs, sitting MPs, all that shit."
Mr Bridges then moves on to discussing removing existing list MPs and bringing in new ones.
"But then if you do that, you're just filling up your list even further with one that you've got to look after," he can be heard saying.
"I reckon there's three of our MPs - not bringing up obvious ones like [Chris] Finlayson or [David] Carter - but actually we just want them to go.
"Like, Maureen Pugh is f**king useless."
Ms Pugh is National's 54th List MP and the Associate Spokesperson for Children.
Mr Ross replied: "Carter, Finlayson, Nicky Wagner, they don't really need to hang around."
"We don't want them to go this year though," says Mr Bridges. "We want to do it well, we just want to think it all through."
Mr Bridges has since met with Ms Pugh and apologised for his comment, which he says she's "gracefully accepted".