New National leader Todd Muller says while he voted against abortion and euthanasia, he wouldn’t seek to impose his beliefs on anyone else.
Muller told Newshub Nation on Saturday he won’t be seeking to overturn the Government’s recent changes to abortion law, which took it out of the Crimes Act, despite his Catholic beliefs.
“This is settled. Parliament passed the law, I had a personal view, it is vested in my Catholic faith. You know, I stand by the values that sit inside of me.
“But one thing you’ll never, ever, ever hear from me – and you would have seen that if you looked back in the Parliament over that debate – this is a personally held view, but I didn’t stand up and speak to convince anybody else in that Parliament they should change their view because it’s a privately held view and I respect all views.”
His new deputy, Auckland Central Nikki Kaye, voted in favour of abortion law reform and putting euthanasia to a referendum. Muller voted against both.
“My deputy Nikki Kaye is an absolute icon in that context, in terms of liberal thought, and talks to the broad church of the National Party, and why we are the largest and most successful party in this country,” said Muller.
Same-sex marriage was legalised in 2013, before Muller entered Parliament. He didn’t outright say whether he would have voted for or against it, but is “totally relaxed” about it now, in 2020.
“I’m totally relaxed. I’m sure for some of my Catholic colleagues and friends, they might disagree with that. But I never said I was a perfect Catholic – I would be a mixed one at best. Some boxes have been ticked, some perhaps not.
“But it’s personal, and it’s a big part of who I am. I walk on that journey every day, and I’m comfortable as I do it.”
He plans to vote against legalising recreational use of cannabis at the upcoming referendum.