Seven weeks into his new job as National Party leader, Simon Bridges is yet to appeal to voters as a potential prime minister.
While the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll has National on 44 per cent approval, ahead of Labour's 43 per cent, the main opposition party's upswing is not repeated in the preferred prime minister stakes.
Only 10 per cent of poll respondents pick Mr Bridges for prime minister, while Labour incumbent Jacinda Ardern is at 37 per cent support.
When she and National's John Key became leaders of their respective parties they were polling three times Mr Bridges.
The new National leader is getting about the same rating as former Labour leaders Andrew Little, David Cunliffe and David Shearer did.
1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch says the National leader could be digging his own political grave, with only 10 per cent calling for him to be prime minister.
"If I was Simon Bridges I'd be worried because either people don't know him, or don't like him. Either way that's not great," she said.
Mr Bridges says it's important people get to know him.
"I'm working very hard to give them that opportunity, working very hard every day all over New Zealand," he said.
National is still biggest party in this poll.
"In terms of the Government, people are seeing something lurching around a bit shambolic, certainly floundering," Mr Bridges said.
Translated into seats in Parliament, the poll results would give Labour 52 seats, the Greens eight and New Zealand First six - enough to comfortably govern with 66 seats.
National would have 54 seats, but with Act as its only partner would fall short of enough seats to govern.