The MP Simon Bridges disparaged as "f***ing useless" on a secret tape release by Jami-Lee Ross says hearing the criticism was "pretty devastating".

But West-Coast-based list MP Maureen Pugh insists the turbulent events of yesterday have created a "huge bond" between National Party MPs.

"The way the support was wrapped around me by my colleagues, I'm just so privileged to be part of that really strong network," she said.

However Pugh's mother is less forgiving, calling Bridges "dumb as" - and she says National's leader "can go suck eggs and he'll never get our vote as long as he's in power".


Ross – who resigned as a National MP on Monday – made good on his promise to release a secret tape of a conversation between him and Bridges yesterday afternoon.

On the tape, Bridges describes Pugh as "f***ing useless" and suggested MPs David Carter and Chris Finlayson were on their way out.

Speaking to media last night, Bridges apologised "profusely" to Pugh for the comments – "I am mortified – there is no excuse for them."

Pugh this morning said when she first heard the tape, it was "pretty devastating".

"But when I listened to the whole tape, I realised what a baited conversation was going on there.

"[It was] one rotten apple actually trying to manipulate the conversation and get some comments out of it, from Simon Bridges."

Pugh said she was "really happy" with where things were left with Bridges after they had a face-to-face talk.

Pugh said other National MPs have been very supportive of her since the tape was released.

"If anything, what came out of yesterday is a huge bonding that went on between us and that was so evident."

She was first alerted to the tape by someone when she was working.

"As I was listening to it, there was a knock on my door and I was asked to go and see Simon."

However Pugh's mother June Brigg contacted MediaWorks today to insist her daughter was not "useless" and worked incredibly hard for the party.

"He [Bridges] really must be dumb as as my daughter is a hard worker for National she got more votes for them than any other [National Party member] on the West Coast and to call her useless is insulting and a lie," she said in a message read out on-air.

"As far as I'm concerned, he can go suck eggs and he'll never get our vote as long as he's in power."

Meanwhile Northland MP Matt King also slammed Ross for his behaviour.

"I thought I knew the guy," he said.

"I now realise that I did not know the man, and I'm glad to be rid of him."

He said he had in his mind's eye who he thought Ross was – "now the whole caucus has realised he's not the guy we thought he was."

Ross "obviously has a vendetta against Simon Bridges," King said.

"But he's also doing damage to us as a party. I just can't understand his thinking."