The National Party is rife with speculation that recently elected president Peter Goodfellow may resign.

Mr Goodfellow, an Auckland businessman, was elected only three weeks ago during the party conference in Christchurch.

Prime Minister John Key expressed confidence in Mr Goodfellow before leaving for Australia. He returns on Sunday.

Mr Goodfellow has been involved with the party since the 1970s. He comes from the wealthy Goodfellow dynasty and holds several directorships, including on the Sanford fishing company, and is chairman of Cambridge Clothing, a New Lynn firm with 200 employees.

"Time will tell how bland I am," he told reporters after his election, "but I think I am a safe pair of hands."