Rodney Philip Hide, QSO (born 16 December 1956), is a New Zealand politician who was leader of the political party ACT New Zealand from 2004 to 2011. From 2005 to 2011 he represented the electorate of Epsom as its Member of Parliament. Rodney Hide was Minister of Local Government, Associate Minister of Commerce and Minister of Regulatory Reform. The last portfolio was mainly concerned with reducing government regulation or "red tape", a topic that had been one of Rodney Hide's core policies in his election campaign. He stepped down as ACT leader in April 2011 after a leadership challenge from Don Brash.
Hide first entered Parliament in 1996 as a list MP. He won the party parliamentary leadership role in a closely contested primary after the retirement of Richard Prebble in 2004. He then went on to win the Epsom electorate from sitting National Party MP Richard Worth in 2005 with the campaign message "ACT is back". Hide held the seventh place on the ACT party list for the 1996 elections. ACT received enough votes for Hide to enter Parliament, making him one of the party's "founding" MPs. He gradually rose through the party's ranks, reaching second place in the ACT list for the 2002 elections.
Under Hide's leadership, the vote in the September 2005 elections severely reduced ACT's party parliamentary representation.
ACT's share of the party vote dropped from over 7% of the total to around 1.5% and its representation in Parliament fell from nine MPs to two. The party remained in parliament due to Hide winning the Epsom seat. As a consequence of its reduced share of the vote, ACT received a significant cut in taxpayer-funded Parliamentary resourcing.
In the 2008 election the ACT won a little under four percent of all votes cast and was awarded five seats in parliament and making it the fourth largest party. Hide also did well in Epsom, and was re-elected with about 55 percent of the electorate vote with nearly triple the votes of the second candidate. Maori Party and United Future. Hide was appointed as a Minister outside Cabinet and was appointed to the office of the Minister of Local Government, Minister for Regulatory Reform and Associate Minister of Commerce.
The National Party won the most seats and formed a minority government with the support of ACT, the
In November 2009, a special ACT-party caucus meeting was held to discuss the Hide's position as party leader, where he was chosen to be retained. On 28 April 2011, he resigned as leader of ACT after a successful challenge from former National leader Don Brash. Hide indicated to Brash he would not be standing in the 2011 general election. When he left parliament he chose not to give a valedictory speech.
In December 2011 Hide was granted the right to retain the
title of The Honourable in recognition of his term as a Member of the Executive Council of New Zealand. In the 2013 New Year Honours, Hide was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order.