National's Judith Collins is "disappointed" in Sir David Carter's comments after he failed to topple Peter Goodfellow as the party's president.
Sir David, the Speaker of the House in the latter years of the Key/English governments and an MP until last year, resigned from the party's board on Sunday after unsuccessfully contesting the presidency.
Goodfellow, who has held the role since 2009, kept the job despite the party's dismal 2020 election result and concerns over National's candidate selections, such as that of Jake Bezzant.
After stepping down from the board, Sir David told media he had no confidence in Goodfellow.
"When we did a substantial review after the devastating defeat at the last election, two things were evident in that review," he told RNZ.
"One was the dysfunction of the governance of the party and a lack of money to run a suitable campaign. Neither of those things change whilst Mr Goodfellow remains president of the New Zealand National Party."
Asked on The AM Show on Wednesday whether Goodfellow was the person she saw taking National into the future, Collins simply said the board had selected him as president before addressing Sir David's comments.
"The board has selected Peter Goodfellow... Am I disappointed with the comments David said? Yes, I am disappointed," she said. "Everybody deals with disappointment in different ways and he has said those things."
Goodfellow said on Sunday that National was its strongest "when we work together as a team and reflect and represent the broad church that makes up our party membership across New Zealand".
The contest for the presidency came during National's conference over the weekend. While the party tried to present itself moving forward from the disaster of 2020 and focused on Kiwis, commentators said the conference appeared "rather chaotic", as political analyst Dr Bryce Edwards put it.
Not only did the party have to contend with talk about whether Collins - who last week was ranked third in the Newshub-Reid Research preferred Prime Minister rankings behind ACT's David Seymour - was the right person to lead the party, but there was also unease among some members about the caucus' voting against a Bill to ban conversion therapy.
However, Collins told The AM Show she was happy with how the event went.
"I also think we should look at the fact that we had three brand new members elected onto the board. We had 700 delegates at that meeting. It was actually a really good convention. It was great for us, we really enjoyed it, and 700 people engaged, paying their own way, absolutely actively involved.
"When I see the negative comments from people who clearly weren't there for most of it, it shows to me that unfortunately they had an agenda and it was not that it was going to be a great conference. It was a great conference. I had people stopping me at the airport on Monday, telling me how much they enjoyed it. I know it was great and we really enjoyed it."
On Sunday, the latest Newshub-Reid Research results showed 50.3 percent of respondents believed Collins should be replaced as leader before the next election, while 29.5 percent said no. Out of National Party voters, 47.9 percent said yes, Collins should be replaced and just 35.6 percent say no.
But Collins doesn't believe she'll be rolled before the election.
"I'm going to be going into the next election, I'm going to win it, I'm going to be absolutely focussed on it," she said on Sunday.
Newshub-Reid Research poll results released last week showed National on 28.7 percent, below Labour on 43 percent. Labour, however, had suffered a 9.7 percent drop, while National jumped 1.7 percent. Act was on 11.1 percent, the Greens on 8.5 percent and NZ First on 3.4 percent.