National to pay more attention to its backbenchers' concerns after rumours of discontent

The National Party has signalled it'll take more notice of the concerns of its backbench MPs as the caucus unites to try to get back into power at the next election.

National MPs have been on a two-day retreat in Tauranga, carrying out a post mortem on last year's election and working out how to win back power in 2020.

The MPs are all on message in support of their leader Bill English and deputy leader Paula Bennett after rumours of discontent last week.

"This is a caucus who understands that if they want to be competitive in 2020 then they need to show they can manage themselves," Mr English said.

Ms Bennett said: "I feel like I've got a role to play. I feel like I do it well and I feel like I've got the support of my caucus."

But that unity comes at a price - paying more attention to the concerns of backbench MPs.

"This is a great opportunity for everyone, including our newest MPs, to stand up and say what they think too," said Judith Collins, National MP.

Mr English said in opposition there's no hierarchy, "there's the leader and deputy leader and then there's all the MPs".

MPs have been on a two-day caucus retreat in Tauranga. Source: 1 NEWS

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