Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is keeping her recreational cannabis referendum vote private, despite a challenge laid by National leader Judith Collins to reveal her intentions.
“I take this referendum really seriously,” Ms Ardern told media from Whanganui.
“It’s a big decision for New Zealanders and I don’t see my job to influence people’s vote. It’s their decision.”
Earlier today, Ms Collins tweeted that she “challenged the Labour leader to tell New Zealand if she is voting to legalise the recreational use and sale of marijuana".
“Can she let New Zealand know?”
After numerous inquiries to National if it would follow through on legalising recreational cannabis should it pass at the referendum and should the party win the election, the party revealed last Monday it was discussing its position.
“National supports medicinal cannabis but not recreational use and sale,” Ms Collins said today. Ms Arden said she would not reveal her position as the recreational cannabis position “has been designed for the public to decide”.
She said her vote was “as good as her neighbour’s vote”.
“And I do want to maintain the position, that should people vote in favour or opposed, that I can then be seen to objectively facilitate that happening.
“I see euthanasia as different,” she said, as that had gone through Parliament and then became a referendum decision.
On her open support of the 2015-2016 flag referendum option ‘Red Peak’, Ms Ardern said she was “obviously an MP voting the same way as anyone else”.
“It wasn’t my referendum that I was in charge of facilitating for the rest of the public.”
This election, the public will vote in a referendum on if they support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. It is not binding.