Simon Bridges has no regrets over the way he handled the National Party's recent crisis, saying both he and his party will emerge stronger.
"I made the right calls at the right times and did the right thing and I feel I've been through a fire but I've come out stronger. I don't have any big regrets here. In fact I would do it all again because I think I stood up for the right things and the National Party and myself emerged stronger."
Bridges told The Country's Jamie Mackay he won't take any legal action over Jami-Lee Ross's secretly taping his private conversations.
"I take the view in politics ... that you sort of keep moving, and you don't take a legalistic view of things. I mean if it was egregious I would [sue] ... but we've got someone who is unwell. So it's just not something I would do."
One of the secret recordings revealed Bridges referring to MP Maureen Pugh as "f****** useless," and although "someone was trying to set me up," he regrets what he said.
"The reality of that is there are no excuses and I'm mortified by what I said there and apologised profusely and of course the MP in question has very graciously accepted that."
Overall Bridges remains philisophical about the situation and says it gave him an opportunity to show "real leadership."
Also in today's interview: Simon Bridges answers Winston Peters' criticism of him, comments on the passing of the CPTPP legislation and Jacinda's "John Key moment".