Does National's new deputy Shane Reti have his eyes on the bigger prize?

The National Party has a new deputy leader in Dr Shane Reti, who has been appointed unopposed as Judith Collins' wingman, taking over from Gerry Brownlee. 

At a high-stakes caucus meeting on Tuesday morning, Collins was also re-confirmed as leader - no one's gunning for her job just yet. But her new deputy has made no secret of his leadership ambitions.

"She is my dream leader," Dr Reti told reporters in Wellington standing next to Collins after his promotion was announced. "She is the leader I work behind at the moment and she has my complete support."

Dr Reti was hammering home his complete support for Collins after revealing during the election campaign that he has eyes on a bigger prize. 

"If they say you need to step into that position then it would be a privilege," he told Newstalk ZB in September

Dr Reti was asked on Tuesday if he ever wants the leadership role. 

"I'm just very proud today to have the support of caucus and to have the support of the leader and to be able to work with Judith to lead us forward," he said. 

One day, perhaps, he will - but just not today. 

"Everybody in the National Party should be welcome to have views on leadership and obviously their own as well," Collins said. "I'm sure at some stage Dr Shane will be an excellent leader of the National Party."

Dr Reti's way was paved by Gerry Brownlee. The campaign chair resigned as deputy leader last week, but says his intention is to stay on as an MP for the full term of Parliament. 

Despite Collins leading her party to a crushing election defeat, she was reconfirmed by her significantly smaller caucus as leader - for now. 

"Not at all worried," Collins said, when asked if she feels her job is at risk. 

But she'll be keeping one eye firmly trained on newbie Christopher Luxon, the former chief executive of Air New Zealand, who won the seat of Botany. 

Luxon walked off when asked on his way to the caucus meeting if he's interested in leadership. 

Other potential future leadership contenders were more unconditional, such as Mark Mitchell who completely ruled it out. 

"Yeah absolutely, I'm ruling out any tilt at any leadership position," he said. 

Chris Bishop also confirmed he has no leadership ambitions. 

"Do I have leadership ambitions? No."

Just as well, because some in the caucus have told Newshub Bishop and Nicola Willis are considered toxic for their perceived role in a leadership coup against Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett, which destabilised the party. 

"Was my behaviour toxic? Oh I wouldn't characterise it like that," Bishop said.

"I think we all as a caucus take responsibility for the election result," Willis said. "I think you'll find the caucus elected Todd Muller as leader."

Collins was tight-lipped when asked if Bishop and Willis have apologised to the caucus for their role in destabilising the party.

"Anything that happens in the caucus stays in the caucus."

Collins is right now in her office making and crushing dreams. On Wednesday, she unleashes her reshuffle. 

We know Dr Reti is holding onto health. Simon Bridges and Andrew Bayly may split the coveted finance role, and there are plenty more.