Judith Collins said voters' negative perceptions of herself and the National Party were in part due to her having to do the "horrible job of having to oppose things".
Collins would not say she promised to turn the party's low polling around - instead saying this was the job of her party as a team.
A 1 News-Colmar Brunton Poll published on Monday saw National at 28 per cent, up 2 points on the previous poll and Collins with an approval rating of -31 and a preferred prime minister polling of 5 per cent.
"I'm having to deal with all the negative issues of opposition in terms of having to hold a Government to account.
"We have a very popular Prime Minister, who is starting to see her ratings drop down. And it is really important that I have to do the horrible job of having to oppose things but I also get to propose - I think you're seeing the proposing coming on,"she said.
Asked whether she would promise to turn that polling around, Collins said that was not just her job.
"Everybody needs to turn that around," Collins said.
"That's why every MP, and every party member, needs to be focused on the things that matter and not on ourselves," she said.
Asked whether her response meant Collins was saying the poor polling was not just down to her, she replied: "It's very important that every MP has to do their part. I always say to our MPs, you do your job well, others do their job well -we'll all do well.
"No team is one person - no team is simply one person on the field," Collins said.
One area where Collins has copped political flak is over her accord with Labour on housing rules. Both parties have agreed to jointly sponsor new legislation to allow people to build more dense housing in cities.
This is designed to free up land and make housing more affordable.
Collins said this was the right thing to do - and did not disagree when asked if it was worth taking political flak for.
"You're either here for the right reasons or you're not," Collins said.
"Not just one generation, but a couple of generations have been shut out altogether of being part of a property-owning democracy," Collins said.
Collins took a swipe at Act, which opposed the changes, saying the historically libertarian, anti-red tape party was actually promoting "more planners doing more planning" by coming out against the policy.
"The National Party believes in private property rights, and we believe in a property-owning democracy.
"We've got other parties who say that they do - Act, yes, and there they are arguing for more planners doing more planning rather than actually letting people get on with building their houses," Collins said.