After a landslide defeat at the 2020 election, National leader Judith Collins has admitted it's taken a personal toll.
However, she said campaigning and the election had been particularly tough for families of politicians.
Before the election - in which Labour received 49.1 per cent of votes, meaning 64 seats in Parliament, compared to National's 26.8 per cent and 35 seats - Collins put on a brave face despite months of poor polling, even in internal polls.
"You pick yourself up every day and you have to get out," she told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.
"Of course, there is always a personal toll but that's the job and it's a very difficult business, politics. It is very hard on people and families in particular who get caught up in it and often attacked and they have nothing really that they can do."
Collins' comments today came after she had to defend her husband during the campaign, stating he wasn't sexist after he posted anti-Jacinda Ardern memes on social media.
David Wong-Tung posted one meme in August on his Facebook account that read “Unite against CINDY-20” and another with a picture of Ardern that was captioned "The Incredible Sulk".
Wong-Tung, whose heritage is Chinese-Samoan, received racial abuse over the memes, with one person calling him an ape.
With the gruelling and long campaign now over, Collins said today that she'd enjoyed the early nights without any early starts.
She added she felt "very, very privileged" to be in the role as leader of National, reiterating plans to stay on.
The party will undergo a review into what went wrong for them this election.