National leader Simon Bridges is expected to deliver a strong message to his caucus on Tuesday that the only path to power is through discipline and uniting behind his leadership.

He said the message he got from delegates at the first of four regional conferences he attended at the weekend, in Hamilton, was the same.

The issue of leadership had not been raised specifically with him, he said.

"But there was a clear and strong message that in addition to holding the Government to account in developing our plans, we win back power by being disciplined and unified," he told the Herald. "That came through loud and clear."


Asked if he would be delivering that same message to the caucus on Tuesday after the long Easter recess, he said: "I consistently bang on those drums.

"It's is always a good reminder for us that we need to have our eye on the prize and that is a Government that is not delivering and making sure people can see what we'd do differently."

The caucus will be the first one since a fresh round of leadership speculation in the news media over the recess that Judith Collins – who polled lowest of all contenders last year - could be gaining support.

Bridges won the leadership decisively in February last year against a field of four others: Amy Adams, Steven Joyce, Judith Collins and Mark Mitchell, although Mitchell withdrew just before the vote.

Recent speculation was prompted by a 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, the first after the Christchurch mosque massacre, showing Labour up three to 48 per cent and National down two to 40 per cent.

"I think there is a mature understanding that this is a new Government and the country has rallied around it in the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks," Bridges said.

"But National is still in the 40s, within striking distance of Government with a good campaign."

It is very clear from members of the party that they know to win we need certainty about leadership, we need discipline and unity - Simon Bridges

Asked if the speculation about his leadership inevitably destabilised it, Bridges said: "Whilst none of that was raised [at the conference], it is very clear from members of the party that they know to win we need certainty about leadership, we need discipline and unity.


"But we need more than that which is why we have got these eight discussion documents coming out this year to give a really substantial sense of what a National Government in 2020 would be like."

The caucus meeting will be the first one since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced there would be no capital gains tax introduced or promoted under her leadership.

It removed what promised to be the best campaign tool for National at next year's election but Bridges said National was celebrating.

"Our members are proud that National has defeated the capital gains tax although they are anxious that they are going see more attempts at cash grabs from the Government to pay for slushy machines and [NZ First MP] Shane Jones' slush fund."

There was a strong view that there had been a real lack of delivery from the Government from housing to transport, where no new road had begun under this Government.

"They talked a big game but aren't delivering."

Bridges has faced internal criticism over his handling of ex-National MP Jami-Lee Ross, the handling of the inquiry into the party's culture, and the way he depicted a long-serving press secretary as an emotional junior staff member.