National leader Simon Bridges says the party is looking to "fresh talent" after a spate of high-profile MPs have stepped down since he took leadership.
Maggie Barry yesterday announced she will retire from Parliament in 2020. Her announcement came after the party picked its candidate for Botany in the form of former Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon the night before.
Ms Barry adds to a list of senior MPs who've stepped down under Mr Bridges leadership: Jonathan Coleman, Steven Joyce, Bill English, Chris Finlayson, Amy Adams, Alastair Scott and Nathan Guy.
On TVNZ 1's Breakast today Mr Bridges was asked whether he could retain talent in the party. He put the resignations down to the Party's "culture".
"I think if you went any term under [former National leader] John Key you would have seen about the same, possibly even more rotation in members of parliament.
"I think that's the culture we have in the National Party - you make a contribution and you move on."
He added he understood Ms Barry's reasons for standing down, which included a bucket list of items she wanted to tick off.
"I think what this shows is the strength of National," he said. "We rotate players on our bench, we make sure we've got fresh talent coming through.
"We've got selections whether it's in Selwyn, whether it's in Upper Harbour or whether it's North Shore now, where you'll see significant contests and very strong people coming through."
Mr Bridges referred to Mr Luxon as "an excellence candidate" and again stood by his "no jap, no pay policy" around beneficiaries and immunistaion - a view that was mirrored by Mr Luxon.
"Our policy is that we think there is no reason not to immunise now, the jury is in on this. I mean, people are literally dying if you think about the Samoa case. We do need to be serious about it.
"I'm actually clear, I think no jap, no pay in certain cases of beneficiaries because we have a lever we can pull to make sure that child is safe and better looked after."
National has put out a discussion document on the issue.