National leader Judith Collins insists her support for decriminalising abortion and making assisted dying legal is "entirely consistent" with her Christian faith.
"I actually think they are entirely consistent with my views on being kind to people where they need it. I'm certainly not a fundamentalist. I'm a liberal Anglican and so my views are my own," Collins told Magic Talk on Monday.
"When you're looking at things like abortion, it is going to happen anyway. We have about 14,000 in a year. If they're going to happen I'd rather they happen early than later. I've never been in the position of an unwanted pregnancy so actually, I don't rush to judge people.
"As for assisted dying, I've seen my father with a whole dose of morphine put in him in the hospital that he was in. I tell you what, that was a lot better than watching my sister-in-law basically starve to death."
Legalising euthanasia and decriminalising abortion are opposed by the rising New Conservatives, a political party that has promoted what it describes as family values and Judeo-Christian principles.
The New Conservatives want abortion put back into the Crimes Act, after it was taken out of the legislation in a landmark conscience vote in Parliament earlier this year. They are also opposed to the End of Life Choice referendum.
The New Conservatives were on 2.1 percent up 1.2 percent in Newhub's latest poll, and Collins was asked by Magic Talk if she was trying to pick up some of the party's increasing vote by being more open about her faith.
"I think they need to focus on their own job," she said. "In my maiden speech I made it very clear what my views were and I said I believed in God. I realise that is unpopular for some people but that's too bad, that's the way it is."
In 2002, Collins said in her maiden speech in Parliament: "I believe in God, and I believe that every human being is created with free will to do either good or evil."
The New Conservatives are against same-sex marriage, but leader Leighton Baker confirmed to The AM Show last week the party would not seek to repeal the 2013 law which legalised it in New Zealand.
Last week Collins would not rule out working with the New Conservatives, saying: "I don't think that's going to be a problem. I think we'll be fine."
But she ruled out working with Advance NZ, led by former National MP Jami-Lee Ross, who merged his party with the NZ Public Party, which has built a platform based on conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and 5G.
"I'm not insane," Collins said.
It comes as Collins faces accusations of "politicising" her Christian faith after she was photographed and filmed praying at St Thomas Church in Tāmaki on Sunday before casting her election vote.
The Opposition leader disagreed with the commentary, telling Magic Talk she never invited the reporters in to film and photograph her, and thought it would be best to let them stay.
"I could have turned around and said 'get out of this house of worship you evil media', or I could have just done exactly what I was going to do in the first place. I would have thought they would have expected it was a private moment but they came charging in."
Collins dropped a reference to her Christian faith during the Newshub Leaders Debate last week when she was asked if NZ First leader Winston Peters had a chance of getting back into Parliament despite polling below 5 percent.
"As a Christian I do believe in miracles, but I tell you what, he won't be one of them."
Peters - who is also religious - took a crack at Collins over her being filmed praying before casting her vote, telling RNZ it is "rather sad" when "someone is using the church to sell their politics".
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