26 Mar 2014

ACT leader says he's learning fast

3:21 pm on 26 March 2014

New ACT Party leader Jamie Whyte concedes he might not be cut out for politics - but says he's learning fast.

Dr Whyte was elected to the role in February and soon after was embroiled in controversy by suggesting incest between adults should not be illegal.

Jamie Whyte.

Jamie Whyte. Photo: RNZ

Today he told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon he regretted the remarks and shouldn't have indulged in the matter when he was questioned about it.

Asked whether, given the furore his comments created, he was suited to politics, Mr Whyte said: "I may not be, it's true. I'm learning pretty fast. It's an interesting question for me, whether I should become more like other politicians or just press on.

"There are limits. I'm 49 now, and there are limits to how much you can change."

Dr Whyte also discussed the possibility of ACT supporting a Labour government before saying that was unlikely to happen.

"No, probably not, in all honesty, no. But there are certainly some National ones we couldn't have worked with either, such as Muldoon's.

"It would be National, most likely, given where we are. What I don't want to do is say, in this interview, what we would be negotiating on in any kind of coalition deal."

The party would campaign on liberalising education, getting rid of the Resource Management Act and applying a three-strike policy to convictions for burglary, Dr Whyte said.