Judith Collins says National Party review is 'confronting' but 'ultimately fair', promises to implement changes

Judith Collins says the review into the National Party's disastrous election campaign is "confronting" but "ultimately fair". 

The National leader said the report won't be publicly released, but it will be dealt with "internally" because it is a party issue. 

"We are not going to be releasing it to everybody," she told The AM Show on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday, Newshub revealed the party created two different versions of the review - the full report, and a sanitised version with all the "gory details taken out". 

"We are certainly not going to be giving our political opponents more ammunition to distract everyone off the real issues - the fact that we don't have a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia and all those other issues," Collins said.

The party will focus on building the party back up, so it has a good foundation for the next election, Collins said.

"I think it is important for every political party, particularly when we have had a really tumultuous last three years, that we go back and look at it and realise where things went wrong. 

"For those of us who have read the report we find it confronting but, I thought, ultimately fair.

"It's [National] like any big family or organisation where sometimes you have to have a really good close look at yourself, accept where things went wrong, accept where you make mistakes and actually just build from that." 

The leader also hit out at the MPs who were "playing games" during the lead up to the last election. 

"It's really hard when you have one or two players who are actually playing games when the rest of us are trying to do the best we can."

"I think that the public will want to see us learn from these lessons and also just get focused… on the things that matter to New Zealanders." 

In an email to party members sent on Tuesday morning, National Party President Peter Goodfellow explained the move to create a sanitised version of the report.

"I hope you can appreciate that we are unable to publish a copy of the Review Report online. To do so would give our political opponents the much-needed distraction they want from us holding the Government to account for its failings. We will not allow that to happen."

In the same email, Goodfellow blamed the election loss on "disunity, leaks and poor behaviour".

"The Review Panel found many contributing factors to our poor election result in 2020. Chief among them the disunity, leaks, and poor behaviour that severely impacted public perception of National as an alternative to the Labour Government. But this was by no means an isolated factor."

The National Party lost the election by a huge margin with Labour receiving enough support to govern alone. 

The Labour Party received a whopping 50 percent of the vote and 65 seats as a result. In comparison, National received only 25.6 percent of the vote and 33 seats.