“Speaking to Jack Tame this morning on Q+A, Jacinda Ardern couldn’t even answer whether her co-governance regime was undermining the fundamental right of one-person one-vote,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“It is chilling to hear Jacinda Ardern describe such an important question as “overly simplistic”. The idea that one person should have one vote, and every human being is born alike in dignity isn’t one that should be so difficult to answer for anyone who believes in a functioning liberal democracy.

“This is why ACT has called for a referendum, so we can have meaningful debate and all New Zealanders can have their say. We’re the only political party not afraid of having an honest conversation on issues like this.

“ACT’s petition for a referendum on co-governance has been signed over 25,000 times since it was launched in March this year.

“It is clear that Kiwis want to have this conversation. Co-governance is now everywhere but it has never been openly discussed or debated.

“Nobody in Government has ever asked whether we want it. There’s just an assumption that there should be two sets of political rights.

“No society in history has succeeded by having different political rights based on birth. Many New Zealanders came here to escape class and caste and apartheid.

“All of the good political movements of the past four hundred years have been about ending discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex and sexuality to treat each person with the same dignity. We are the first country in history that’s achieved equal rights and has division as its official policy. It’s nuts.

“It’s time for honest and bold conversations. New Zealanders are up for it and ACT will keep leading the debate.”

ACT’s petition can be found here.