National leader Todd Muller says his "Make America Great Again" hat is staying in its box in his new office, and he won't be unpacking it.

The hat with the Donald Trump slogan was a piece of US political memorabilia picked up when he observed the 2016 US presidential campaign.

National Party leader Todd Muller and deputy Nikki Kaye talk to media after the first National Party Caucus meeting in Parliament. Photo / Audrey Young
National Party leader Todd Muller and deputy Nikki Kaye talk to media after the first National Party Caucus meeting in Parliament. Photo / Audrey Young

It was on display in his previous office and came to light in several interviews after he became National leader on Friday and it created a social media storm with claims it represented racial oppression.

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He told media on Saturday he would be displaying it in his new Leader of the Opposition office in Parliament but he has backed down from that pledge.

Muller acknowledged that others had "a different perspective" on the hat.

"I respect that," he told reporters at Parliament today.

"I packed it up in a box when I left the office round there," he said pointing in the direction of his old office "and it will stay in the box."

New National Party leader Todd Muller tweet 08 November 2016 - picture of a Make America Great Again ( MAGA ) for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
New National Party leader Todd Muller tweet 08 November 2016 - picture of a Make America Great Again ( MAGA ) for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Deputy Nikki Kaye chipped in and said it had been replaced with a National Party cap.

Muller said part of his job was to "check and adjust as necessary."

"You understand the context that that hat was for me – part of memorabilia when I went to two conventions. Clearly for other people it has a greater personal meaning. I respect that and I'm not focused on hats.

" I'm focused with my team on building an economic recovery for New Zealand and it was becoming an economic distraction. It got packed away when I moved and I said 'keep it in the box.'"

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Aliya Danzeisen of the Islamic Women's Council said on Sunday that she understands Muller's cap was a souvenir but that it should be kept at home.

"That hat represents the denial of the freedom of beliefs. That hat represents the denial of minority voices. That hat represents the vitriol that has been harming that nation and has been harming the world for the last four years," Danzeisen said.

"If he wants to be the Prime Minister of New Zealand it would be nice if he'd choose to display objects that represent the values of New Zealand."