National Party leader Judith Collins says she is absolutely confident she will remain at the helm of her party.
''Who would want that job?'' she said, roaring with laughter when asked the inevitable question about her political future yesterday.
''I feel the caucus is very focused on the stuff that matters and that is making sure that we are prosecuting the Government on matters of immediate importance.''
Collins and her leadership have been under extreme scrutiny in recent weeks, and the pressure was heightened this week with the publication of two polls which showed National still mired in the low 20s in the preferred party ratings.
''It [leadership speculation] is so frustrating, but the big thing for me is to just keep going back to what matters for people,'' she said.
''That is the vaccination roll-out, the economy, and how we grow the economy so that we can get a health service that we really have confidence in ... people want to distract from our messaging because that way they don't have to answer the questions about why they haven't planned, prepared and actually executed theirs.''
Collins acknowledged some of those distractions were self-inflicted, notably when she called scientist Siouxsie Wiles a ''big fat hypocrite'' for an alleged breach of lockdown regulations.
''I thought it was unfortunate, because I actually think she was a hypocrite but I was using a reference that is an old colloquialism but what I should have thought of was that somebody might be listening to this and want to make something of it, but you can't take that stuff back.
''It was a lesson to me and a reminder to me.''
Collins has been touring the South Island this week, opting not to return home to Auckland due to it still being at Alert Level 4.
She said that on her travels she had detected some fear and some anger about Covid-19, and increasing frustration at the South Island still being at alert level 2.
''It is very upsetting for some people, small businesses especially,'' she said.
''We only have about 32% of the eligible population who are fully vaccinated and that's not enough, we need more than that — we have said there should be a target of 70 to 75% of people being fully vaccinated because that starts to give you options.''
The New Zealand Herald yesterday launched a campaign for 90% of eligible New Zealanders to be vaccinated, a target deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson yesterday declined to endorse, instead saying he simply wanted as many people as possible to be vaccinated.
Collins said no country had been able to get to 90% but New Zealand definitely needed to set some sort of vaccination target.
''People are not children, people need so much more certainty than they have now ... they need to know that there is a plan for life after Covid.''
National senior MPs have been working on a post-Covid recovery plan, which Collins said was awaiting caucus sign-off before being released.
''We have been waiting for one, we have yet to see one from the government, so we have been working on one,'' she said.
''We are taking it very carefully, we are trying to do it properly ... we need to have a plan where people feel safe and can see that there is a point to it and it is because we can do more with our life.''