National Party leader Christopher Luxon is frustrated his religious views continue to be misrepresented while he is standing by his position of being in favour of accepting investment from China for large-scale infrastructure projects.
Luxon made the comments during a wide-ranging interview with Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB’s Leaders Breakfast.
Watch the full interview above
Labour leader Chris Hipkins will be interviewed for the series next week. Some of the minor party leaders will also be appearing.
Luxon, speaking for two hours this morning, said it had been frustrating to see his faith being misrepresented, saying his religion was based on treating people well.
He did not elaborate on how his faith had been misrepresented.
Luxon had struggled to shake previous comments he’d made on abortion, comparing it to murder. Luxon had already ruled out reforming New Zealand’s abortion laws - something he had been quizzed about by members of the public during his public appearances.
He also had to defend his position on Chinese investment following repeated questions by Hosking.
Luxon believed offshore investment was beneficial given it had the potential to deliver large infrastructure projects, like new roads, faster.
“If we make people’s daily lives better, so be it,” Luxon said.
Act, National’s likely coalition partner, was not aligned on this issue, with party leader David Seymour having said publicly that he was wary of accepting Chinese investment.
STORY CONTINUES AFTER THE LIVE BLOG
The National leader is coming off releasing his plan for what he expects to achieve within his first 100 days in government if elected.
Luxon announced the plan before a raucous crowd of National supporters in an Albany hall, where he bemoaned the alleged slow work-rate of the Labour Government.
He later told media he intended to work longer than previous governments if elected, saying he would want the House to continue sitting until a few days before Christmas.
Luxon also said he advocated for the House to resume sooner after the Christmas break than it had done in the past.
The National leader was expected to cast his vote today following the Leaders Breakfast interview.
Yesterday, Labour released its election manifesto but the occasion was largely overshadowed by the absence of leader Chris Hipkins, who yesterday tested positive for Covid-19.
According to a spokesperson, Hipkins would be isolating for five days or until he returned a negative test result.
While he would attend some events and hold some media interviews via Zoom, it was expected other senior Labour figures would take over the more public-facing roles, particularly Carmel Sepuloni.
Adam Pearse is a political reporter in the NZ Herald Press Gallery team, based at Parliament. He has worked for NZME since 2018, covering sport and health for the Northern Advocate in Whangārei before moving to the NZ Herald in Auckland, covering Covid-19 and crime.