Judith Collins won't consider diversity as she tweaks National Party line-up

New National leader Judith Collins says "a couple of little tweaks" to her party's line-up are likely - but she won't be considering diversity when making her decisions.

Collins was chosen as party leader on Tuesday night, following the shock resignation of Todd Muller after just 53 days at the helm earlier that day.

She says she'll need to make changes to her line-up and to how portfolios are designated ahead of the election, as she and newly appointed deputy Gerry Brownlee need to free up time to focus on National's campaign.

But Collins told Magic Talk host Peter Williams that when picking who in the party would do what, she would "not be distracted by people's gender or ethnicity".

"I've never really thought ethnicity was all that important - I'm an ethnic minority in my own home," she said on Wednesday morning, referring to the fact her husband is Samoan.

"I am someone who believes [the decision should be made] utterly on merit... you pick the right people for the job, and that job is to do what you have to do and not worry too much about how they look, what their gender is or anything else.

"We've got great people of many ethnicities in our party - and by the way, they're all qualified to be there on their own merits."

Collins said she and Brownlee would have discussions on Wednesday about the future of health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse, who was embroiled in the COVID-19 patient data leak scandal that saw party members Hamish Walker and Michelle Boag resign last week.

She said Woodhouse was a "hard-working" MP, but wouldn't rule out him shifting in the party's ranks.

Despite her lack of concern about diversity, Collins also singled out Māori MP Shane Reti, currently 13th on the party's list, for praise - describing him as an "outstanding New Zealander and MP" and "one of our standout people" in an interview with RNZ.

However she repeated the controversial question she asked after Muller was criticised for a lack of diversity on his front bench in May: "Is there something wrong with being white?"

"I think most New Zealanders aren't worried about things like culture wars," she told RNZ.

What New Zealanders are worried about, Collins told Magic Talk, is that the National Party "stays true to our principles".

"We're a party of merit and we're a party of principle - I'm not going to be distracted about people's gender or ethnicity," she said.

"Clearly, many New Zealanders of ethnic minorities like to see those same ethnic minorities represented. But I was the Ethnic Communities Minister in two terms of Government, and they quite liked having me - my ethnic minorities are Welsh, English, German and Irish."