7 Aug 2019

Winston Peters confirms NZ First seeks abortion referendum

4:24 pm on 7 August 2019

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has confirmed his party will be pushing for a binding referendum on abortion law reform.

Winston Peters

Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

Mr Peters blind-sided the Justice Minister Andrew Little yesterday, by raising the idea of a referendum for the first time.

But Mr Peters dismissed that as "bull-dust".

"Everybody has known since our party's formation, it's part of our 15 founding principles since 1993, on these issues we go to a referendum.

"We got to the caucus [on Tuesday] with all the details of the draft being there before us in all its finality, and that came up, and that was expected", he said.

Yesterday Mr Peters said people would need to "wait and see" whether his party put forward an amendment requiring a referendum.

But today, when asked, he was definitive.

"I think you could say that yes. Because that's what we said we're going to do".

Winston Peters says he's not concerned that Mr Little has said he doesn't want there to be a referendum on the abortion Bill.

"So that's one member of 120, he's got one vote just like everybody else.

"What about the other 119, let's find out from them", Mr Peters said.