Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger doubts giving Simon Bridges another shot at being the National Party leader is a good idea.
National will decide on Tuesday who will replace Judith Collins after she was stripped of the leadership last week, in what was a chaotic couple of days for the Opposition.
It's understood Bridges intends to again challenge for the job, while former Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon has also reportedly thrown his hat into the ring.
Bolger, who was National Party leader from 1986 until 1997, is staying mum on who he thinks should take over the leadership - but has doubts about Bridges.
"He made mistakes the last time and the last time's not that long ago," Bolger told Newshub.
Shane Reti, who was party deputy leader under Collins and currently the interim leader, and Mark Mitchell are also leadership options. While Bolger wouldn't name his preference, he holds Dr Reti in high regard.
"I'm not endorsing one or the other but Dr Reti clearly has [a] remarkable background, history skills - you don't work in Harvard University without that," said Bolger.
Bolger pleaded with the National Party Caucus to select a new leader based on their qualities and not who is the loudest.
He said the new leader should be someone who gives the right message to voters.
"I want someone there who can think; who has the capacity to see a different and better New Zealand, to give hope to New Zealanders.
"There's nothing more powerful for people than the hope of a better tomorrow."
Don Brash, who was National Party leader from 2003 until 2006, told Newstalk ZB he rated Bridges.
"I do know Simon Bridges well and, I have to say, I have high regard for him and that regard has increased since I read his book recently.
"On the face of it, he's got the characteristics of a good leader.
"He is wiser and older now… I think he's got the character and qualifications to make a good leader."
Parliament veteran Winston Peters, once a National Party deputy leader and MP before forming NZ First, has also weighed in on the leadership.
"Qualities needed in the next National leader: honesty, sticks to their word on transparency, understands business and workers, understands what poverty is, understands how MMP works, is a good listener, and most importantly has a real vision for NZ," Peters said on Facebook.