Act leader Jamie Whyte has acknowledged he made a mistake in answering questions about incest this week.

Speaking on TV3's The Nation this morning, Dr Whyte said being drawn into the discussion was "silly''.

"I made a mistake to give an answer at all really,'' he said. "It was a mistake, it was a silly thing to do.''

Dr Whyte said as a former academic philosopher he was drawn into a philosophical discussion when he said consensual incest relationships between adults should not be illegal.


But he said as Act leader, it was not an issue he should have been drawn into.

"There's no demand for this, it's not Act policy, it's just not something I want to talk about and it was foolish to let myself get side tracked.''

Dr Whyte told The Nation his address at the Act party conference in South Auckland today would be focused on getting back to the party's origins.

"Act was a party of bold ideas, strong policies like flat taxes, liberalising education policy, reforming pensions, and that all got a bit lost, so I'm going back to that.''

The party was developing a policy to extend the three strikes law to burglary.

"Act is a party that believes in individual liberty and you can't be free if you're frightened of being harassed, not just by the government but by other citizens,'' he said.

"It's very important that if you're going to have a free society that you have a peaceful society with low level of crime.''

Dr Whyte also said he would be prepared to work with Conservative Party leader Colin Craig after the election, saying he was a "very decent chap''.


"I disagree with him on several things but there are far worse politicians in New Zealand.''