National’s leader has reiterated his party’s views on co-governance, after being challenged not to be afraid of it.
Christopher Luxon has just wrapped up his address at Rātana – the first time he has spoken at the commemorations.
Acknowledging issues around diversity within National, Luxon said there was still work to do. However, he was “incredibly proud” of the progress made and the candidates that will stand in the 2023 election.
Luxon also took aim at Labour, criticising the party for leaving people behind with “rents sky high” and an economy that was going backwards. “We believe in really strong economic management and stewardship,” he added.
The subject of co-governance dominated much of Luxon’s speech, with the National leader reiterating his objections. Firstly, on principle because New Zealand has one government, but also practically because of concerns more bureaucracy would slow down the delivery of services. However, he said that he wanted to ensure Māori success and said that the provision of services would be community-led under a National government.
The government, said Luxon, had failed to bring the New Zealand public along on the subject of co-governance. It had been a “divisive and immature conversation”, he said.
Outgoing prime minister Jacinda Ardern is due to speak at about 2pm, followed by her successor Chris Hipkins.