National's former deputy leader Paula Bennett says the party needs to have a hard look at itself following Saturday's election loss, but that there wasn't just one person to blame.
Bennett told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning National was "disorganised" and didn't "articulate an alternative" Government well enough to voters.
However, she's praised the party's leader Judith Collins for giving it her all.
Labour won 49.1 per cent of the party vote, meaning 64 seats in Parliament, while National was behind on 26.8 per cent, 35 seats.
"I think that right now is the time for National to have a damn good look at itself and I think that picking off individuals and trying to do blame that way is not going to be helpful for them at all," Bennett said.
"I don't think people had a reason not to vote for Labour," she said.
"You cannot deny the popularity of Jacinda Ardern, they [Labour] had clear messaging, they ran a very good campaign I believe, and I think National didn't present their plan as articulately, they didn't show a real point of difference to what they could do and then there was the untidy stuff that there is no doubt about, this has been an untidy year."
Bennett was National's deputy leader under Simon Bridges, then got bumped back when he was rolled by Todd Muller earlier this year. But after Muller's sensational resignation as leader Collins took the reigns and Bennett, as well as number of other top MPs in the party, resigned shortly after.
Bennett described the changes in leadership "the start of the end" for the party.
However, when asked if she and Bridges could have done better, Bennett, who was also previously National's campaign manager, said it was "a bit of who knows".
"I sort of got to sit on the sidelines and watch and some of it was quite frustrating," she said.
"I think there wasn't an absolute clarity of message, I felt that Judith had to almost be her own campaign manager and pick everything up and run with and I actually thinks she did an extraordinary job, and I mean that.
"I think she should be able to hold her head high and that she threw everything she had at it for that short period of time that she had."
Bennett said she believes Collins should stay on as leader.