'Dishonest' Jacinda Ardern 'must release' Richie Hardcore's Karel Sroubek text - Simon Bridges

National Party leader Simon Bridges has accused the Prime Minister of being dishonest for failing to disclose a text message from a good friend of Karel Sroubek.

It's put the Government's botched handling of the Sroubek scandal back in the headlines, and landed Jacinda Ardern in the middle of it.

Martial arts champion-turned activist Richie Hardcore is a friend of Ms Ardern, and a friend of convicted drug smuggler Sroubek. A text message to one of those friends about the other has set off a firestorm.

"I received an unsolicited text message," Ms Ardern told Newshub. "Nothing happened with it, I did nothing about it, and it came in after this case was public."

Sroubek was initially granted residency by Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. He reversed that decision after weeks of relentless pressure.

Now the Opposition is focused on whether the friendship between Hardcore and the Prime Minister influenced the Minister's decision at all.

"It beggars belief that this text was somehow the first or the only communication from Richie Hardcore to Jacinda Ardern about Karel Sroubek," Simon Bridges says.

Ms Ardern had a simple response: "[It] feels a bit desperate from the Opposition."

Despite calling it "desperate", she's refusing to release the contents of the text message, instead telling journalists to request it under the Official Information Act (OIA).

"If someone wants to put in an OIA [request], we'll consider it under those terms - but I have reluctance."

There is precedent: John Key was ordered by the Ombudsman to release a text sent to him by Rachel Glucina in 2016.

"She must release the text," Mr Bridges says.

Hardcore sent Newshub a statement saying he texted the Prime Minister "to commend [the Government's] compassion" in granting residency to Sroubek.

"I've initiated releasing this," Ms Ardern says. "The Opposition were asking very direct questions."

In fact there were specific questions about Hardcore's correspondence a month ago in Parliament.

"We've had to ask questions now for nearly two months, and by omission I think she's been dishonest," says Mr Bridges.

Claims of dishonesty are at odds with the Prime Minister's brand of politics.