National Party leader Christopher Luxon dashes ACT plans for Treaty referendum

National leader Christopher Luxon is moving closer to ruling out a referendum on the Treaty if he wins the election.

His preferred coalition partner, ACT, recently reaffirmed that a referendum on the Treaty was a bottom line for the party in post-election negotiations.

In an interview with The Hui host Julian Wilcox, Luxon was challenged to rule out a referendum on the Treaty under his Prime Ministership.

Luxon described the referendum on the Treaty as "divisive" and said he would not support it.

"I think it is divisive and not helpful," he told Wilcox.

However, Luxon was more open to a referendum on whether to change the name of the country to Aotearoa New Zealand - although Luxon said he personally did not support such a change.

Luxon denied National's policy to link benefits to inflation rather than the average wage could cost beneficiaries $2 billion over the next four years. 

"No, that's not true. That's not true," he said.

He claimed National would ensure beneficiaries did get a cost-of-living increase every year, and that the policy would also encourage people from welfare into work.

Luxon reiterated his opposition to Te Aka Whai Ora, the Māori Health Authority. He pointed to education as a model for a single governance structure that was able to deliver schooling including kura kaupapa Māori and charter schools.

He was reminded by Wilcox that the successful kura kaupapa movement was looking to establish an overall kura kaupapa commissioner who would work directly with the Government on behalf of its interests.

"I don't think you need to create a separate bureaucracy," Luxon explained.

He believes National's policies of devolution and localism were a better fit for iwi he had spoken with, around the country.

Made with the support of Te Mangai Pāho and NZ On Air.