National Party leader Judith Collins has blamed Covid-19 for the party's resounding defeat. National won 27 per cent of the vote compared with Labour's 49 per cent.
Speaking to Kerre McIvor and Barry Soper on Newstalk ZB this morning, she said a review on what worked and what had not was very important.
The party needed the opportunity to sit back and consider what had happened to the party during the past three years, and particularly the past 12 months.
She said the leadership changes leading up to the election did not help.
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Collins took over as leader of the party three months ago.
"I'm there for the party," she told Soper, adding that she did not take on the top job because she wanted to - it was because the caucus wanted her. While she felt strongly supported by the caucus, she said no one had expected a miracle.
"People have to be realistic, it was not our time," she said.
Collins said Ardern had done "a good job" but she said she "felt sorry" for Winston Peters whose party failed to regain any seats in Parliament. The result has led to speculation as to whether Peters has fought his final election campaign.
The election result was a blow for National and means the party has lost a number of experienced MPs. Collins said she was "devastated" so many MPs lost their jobs, but she was "actually very positive for the way forward for National".
"I just think it's a great privilege to do the job I do ... I love it."
She told Barry Soper she had not attended church today. She said at the time of the infamous photo of her kneeling in prayer at St Thomas's Church in St Heliers that she had not prayed for herself, but for the country.