Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says similarities in his Waitangi speech 'very deliberate', will do it again next year

The Prime Minister has admitted sections of his Waitangi speech were copied from last year, saying it was on purpose as he wanted to send a consistent message.   

Christopher Luxon is back in Wellington after completing his first Waitangi Day commemorations in the role as Prime Minister.  

While the Prime Minister said he enjoyed his time in Waitangi, questions have emerged about whether he copied and pasted parts of the speech he made at Waitangi from last year's speech as Opposition leader.   

The Prime Minister made a swift departure from Waitangi on Tuesday but not before Newshub attempted to ask him if he recycled his speech from last year.  

Luxon said on Tuesday there were some "great themes" in the speech and he wanted people to understand the Treaty's part of a "past, present and future".   

But when Newshub asked why he copied his speech, he dodged the question and said "we've got some great work to do". 

The Prime Minister fronted on AM on Wednesday morning and was asked about the speech's close resemblance to last year's.   

"It's very deliberate, we wanted consistency of message," he told AM co-host Lloyd Burr.   

"What I've felt about the Treaty is what I've felt about the Treaty for a long time."   

Luxon didn't shy away from the fact there were similarities in his speech, even saying "it's what I'm going to do next year".   

"What I felt in 2023 will be what I felt this year and that's actually what I'm going to do next year," he told AM.   

"People can trust us when we say there will be no change to the Treaty, when there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about it. I want people to understand, particularly as Prime Minister, my views and our views on that."   

Burr says even though it's inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, it's an "unnecessary distraction" and looks a "bit lazy".    

"It is deliberate, we want to make sure we have a consistency of communication and message. As you have identified Lloyd, there is a lot of misinformation, a lot of misunderstanding about what our government believes about the treaty," the Prime Minister replied.  

"I expressed it, I thought well in 2023, there are extracts that I used again in 2024 and again I will have the same, similar messages I suspect in 2025. In that context I was explaining the arch of New Zealand's history and progress, starting from 1840, what the Treaty has meant for us, why it has made us a better country and I think that has been expressed well. I went on to talk about our vision for 2040 and what we are trying to do as a country together and obviously our plans for the current term."    

But when asked why he wouldn't apologise for using parts of his speech from last year, this year, Luxon continued to say consistency of message is important.  

"It's what I believe last year, it's what I believe this year, it's what I believe next year," he said.   

When asked if he would recycle the speech he used for ANZAC Day last year for this year, the Prime Minister said "I don't know".  

When asked if he has any regrets about his Treaty speech, Luxon didn't mention any.  

"I'm doing a set-piece speech to the country. I wanted to lay out the history and the arch of where we have come from. I wanted to lay out where we are going to in 2040 and then come back and zoom in to what are the priorities for the next three years," he said. 

Watch the full interview above.