NZ Election 2020: National MP Denise Lee now 'accepts' Auckland Council policy she criticised in leaked email

A National MP who criticised Judith Collins' decision to review Auckland Council says she now "accepts" the policy and "unreservedly" supports her leader.

Denise Lee sent an email - which was later leaked to Newshub - to her National Party colleagues on Monday, describing Collins' announcement as a "highly problematic idea" and panned it as "another working group".

National has promised that, if elected, it will launch an inquiry at Auckland Council after the party accused it of failing to deliver for Aucklanders.

Lee, who is the Opposition's spokesperson for local government in Auckland, also took issue with Collins bypassing her altogether during the decision-making process. She described it as "incredibly poor form" and "a shockingly bad example of poor culture".

Lee wasn't the only MP upset by it; another National MP contacted Newshub on Monday to say Collins is consistently "making up policy on the hoof" and "creating division" within the party.

Lee says she spoke to Collins after the email was publicised.

"Yesterday I sent an email to my fellow MPs which was intended for internal purposes only. I completely disagree with the actions of the person who leaked the email and have since spoken with our party leader Judith Collins," Lee said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I accept the leadership's decision about the policy announcement which acknowledges that Auckland Council needs to lift its performance.

"I remain focused on winning the seat of Maungakiekie and unreservedly support Judith Collins as leader and future Prime Minister."

Speaking to Newshub on Monday, Collins sighed when asked if the policy had been made on the hoof and said it had been planned for weeks, despite Lee not knowing about it.

"It's been prepared for a couple of weeks," she said.

Collins spoke about the policy during an interview with Newstalk ZB on Monday morning, and cited that as the reason why Lee wasn't aware of it.

"Because I was doing the radio show."

Labour's finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the leaked email shows "a campaign in chaos", and serves as evidence the Opposition is unfit to run the country.

"National has churned through three leaders in the space of three months, faces an exodus of 19 experienced MPs like Amy Adams, Nikki Kaye and Paula Bennett at the election and according to this email are still infighting," he said earlier on Tuesday.

"National clearly are no longer the party of John Key and Bill English, and their credentials on economic management are shot. They are now a divided party who pose a real threat to our economic recovery if they were elected.

"Judith Collins briefly papered over the cracks in National but this email proves the disunity and chaos we've seen all year is still rife."

Robertson also took aim at Collins for telling Newshub the Auckland Council review policy had been planned for weeks - despite Lee knowing nothing about it and finding out along with the public on Monday.

"Yesterday Judith Collins said the policy to review Auckland Council has been worked on for several weeks. According to this leaked email, that is untrue and the party's spokesperson didn't seem to know anything about it or support it," Robertson said.

"I challenge Judith Collins to release the policy and evidence it has in fact been worked on for weeks to prove she hasn't misled New Zealanders. If she can't, then it raises serious questions around the accuracy of her statement." 

National's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee said Robertson "doesn't know what he’s talking about".

"The only chaos is the $10 billion fiscal hole in his party's spending promises, which is a brochure - not a plan."