In an interview at Palmersto' />

A National government may change New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy without a referendum, says party leader Don Brash.

In an interview at Palmerston North yesterday, Dr Brash elaborated on what would be needed for National to change the policy if it forms part of a government.

A year ago, the National Party decided against a recommendation from within its own ranks to scrap the 1985 anti-nuclear legislation after polls suggested public support for the stance was still overwhelmingly strong.

However, Dr Brash said if National gained power and had a "clear mandate" to change the legislation, it would do so.

Dr Brash was seen to be in favour of scrapping the ban after allegedly telling United States officials in January 2004 that the ban would be "gone by lunchtime".

Previously the party had indicated it would seek a referendum before making any changes.

Yesterday, Dr Brash said this was still the most likely way of determining support, but he also said if the party campaigned on scrapping the ban and won the election, it would consider this a mandate for change as well.

Dr Brash confirmed National will bring in tax cuts, but wasn't saying when or how much.

National wants to increase police numbers, he said, but would not say to what level.

The Opposition leader took in Levin and Palmerston North during a quick lower North Island tour.

- nzpa