Newshub Leaders Debate: Chris Hipkins, Christopher Luxon reveal if they've taken MDMA

The men vying to be New Zealand's next Prime Minister have revealed their stances on the country's drug laws - and responded to a curveball question about MDMA. 

When asked by Newshub Leaders Debate moderator Patrick Gower whether they'd tried MDMA, both Labour leader Chris Hipkins and National's Christopher Luxon revealed they hadn't. 

Before Gower hit the leaders with that question, he asked the pair whether people who took MDMA at festivals were criminals. 

"Personally, no they're not," Luxon said. 

"Look, I think we've got the right approach to it at the moment - which is a health approach to it and I think it's entirely appropriate." 

However, MDMA was still illegal under New Zealand legislation (Misuse of Drugs Act 1975), Gower pointed out. 

"What I'd say to you is, I think there are things that we can do to make sure that, at festivals, we've got good drug testing and all that sort of good stuff," Luxon responded.  

"Sorry, what I'd say is, they are criminals - I wanted to be clear. MDMA is criminal," he said, backtracking on his previous comments. 

"But what I'd say to you is, you can actually test drugs in festivals - that's quite possible to do." 

Hipkins, asked the same question, said they were criminals "under the law". 

"But the reality is, we put in place drug testing at festivals which the National Party opposed," he told Gower. 

Hipkins was open to reviewing New Zealand's drug laws, he said. 

"We have to treat drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal issue." 

Watch the full video for more.

This article was amended on September 28 because it incorrectly quoted Chris Hipkins as saying: "We have to treat drug use as a criminal issue rather than a health issue." The Labour leader actually said: "We have to treat drug use as a health issue rather than criminal issue."