Judith Collins says MP Alfred Ngaro's views on abortion and drugs are his, not those of the National Party.
The list MP, based in west Auckland, on Friday night claimed his Te Atatu opponent Phil Twyford wanted to legalise recreational cannabis, decriminalise "all drugs", and supported full-term abortion and "abortion based on gender and disability".
He deleted the Facebook post soon afterwards, but not before Twyford - a high-ranking Labour MP - called it a "gross piece of misinformation" on his own Facebook page.
Collins on Saturday said she'd had a chat with Ngaro about the post.
"I just think Alfred has put his own personal views up but once it's been pointed out it's not the National Party's views he's taken it down," she told Newshub.
He reportedly told her those were his "genuinely held views". Collins said the party had no social media policy and didn't need one, and still supported free speech.
The controversial post came just hours after a Victoria University study found National had been running one of the most positive social media campaigns of all the parties, albeit with a few half-truths thrown in.
In his own post, which included a screenshot of Ngaro's, Twyford said he "wouldn't normally share stuff like this on social media... it is such a gross piece of misinformation it shouldn't be ignored".
"It has more in common with the fake news of the American religious right than the way we do politics in New Zealand."
The National Party did not respond to Newshub's request for comment.