Judith Collins says while National MP Alfred Ngaro's controversial social media post attacking Labour MP Phil Twyford does not reflect the party's views, she "supports freedom of speech".
Ngaro made a Facebook post last night with an image saying a vote for his rival for the Te Atatau seat was a vote for the legalisation of recreational cannabis, the decriminalisation of all drugs, full term abortion and abortion based on gender and disability.
Twyford responded to the post after it was removed, calling it a "gross piece of misinformation, it shouldn't be ignored". He further added that the post "has more in common with the fake news of the American religious right than the way we do politics in New Zealand".
The National leader said she spoke to Ngaro about the post this morning, which he called "his personal belief" but understood was "not the party view".
The post was taken down around one hour after it was posted, she said.
Collins said while Ngaro is "someone who passionately believes exactly what he's put up there" and has "his own genuine and conscience-held views," they are "certainly not shared by the party".
"He's very grateful for the fact that the National Party does support - and I personally support - freedom of speech, but it is better that it not have National branding on it in any way, shape or form."
Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern said she has not seen the post but was informed of it.
"I would support that call that she’s made. From the sounds of what’s been said, it's blatant misinformation," Ardern said.