ACT New Zealand is a free market political party in New Zealand. Until the New Zealand general election, 2011 it was led by former National Party leader and Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash. The party's current leader is John Banks.
ACT now has one member of the Parliament of New Zealand, which is John Banks, a former two-term Auckland mayor and Police and Tourism ministers in the New Zealand National Party Bolger administrations of the nineties.
According to former party leader Rodney Hide, the party stands for "individual freedom, personal responsibility, doing the best for our natural environment and for smaller, smarter government in its goals of a prosperous economy, a strong society, and a quality of life that is the envy of the world".
The name comes from the ...
The ACT Party will support the Government's new legislation on covert surveillance, conditional on an urgent select-committee hearing.
The party's parliamentary leader, John Boscawen, says all five ACT MPs will vote for the bill's first reading and any support after that will be based on the legislation getting select-committee approval.
The Government is putting forward the bill in response to a Supreme Court ruling last week that the use of hidden cameras in the operation that culminated in the 2007 Urewera police raids was illegal.
Police have since suspended covert video surveillance, ...
The Government's decision to extend 90-day new-employee trials to all businesses was a suggestion of Act New Zealand and against the recommendation of its own Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson.
But Cabinet papers - released to The New Zealand Herald under the Official Information Act - show Ms Wilkinson pushed only for the 90-day trial to be extended to companies of up to 50 workers, and did not propose extending it to larger ones as they had "robust systems to undertake good recruitment and employment practices". Act NZ leader Rodney Hide said last night it was his party's idea to extend ...
Act MP Heather Roy has strong feelings about being dumped as deputy leader, but is burying them for the good of the party.Mrs Roy was rolled two weeks ago when the caucus voted in John Boscawen as the new deputy leader. She also lost her ministerial portfolios of consumer affairs, associate education and associate defence.
On Friday on her "Royters" blog, Mrs Roy said she was prepared to put a personally painful experience behind her for the sake of the party.
"I might (okay, I do!) have strong feelings about what happened, but in the real world what I personally feel about the ...
Newsletter - A year of inequality debate Inequality and poverty issues were big news this past year.
The English version of Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, was published in April. It provided an impressive collection of historical data on trends in wealth distribution. Much less impressive was the interpretation of the data and the theory that went with it.
The book was greeted with enormous enthusiasm by the political left. No surprise there. People – on both the left and right of politics - tend to accept uncritically information or views which align with their prior beliefs.
But one of the great virtues of a free and open country, and of the democratic process, is that your political opponents will scrutinise your arguments and you theirs. It’s a contest of ideas.
So how has Piketty’s book held up? A recent lengthy review by Deirdre McCloskey described the many problems with the book, and John Cochrane (University of Chicago Business School) has helpfully provided a condensed version.
Celebrate volunteers by opposing regulatory burden On International Volunteers Day New Zealand politicians must consider their responsibility in tackling the regulatory burden faced by the voluntary sector, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Unfortunately, regulations intended to improve practices in business can often have unwanted consequences for volunteer causes.
“One current example is the Health and Safety Reform Bill, which would treat volunteers – even casual ones – as workers, forcing organisations to take liability for the safety of people who have chosen to pitch in for events like tree plantings and disaster clean-ups.
“The practical effect of this regulation is obvious: it will be harder for communities to mobilise volunteer action. Ratepayers in particular will be hit hard, as local councils currently utilise volunteer labour for many vital services and initiatives.
“ACT is backing the Bill’s submissions from Local Government NZ and Volunteer NZ, which call for more flexible regulation towards health and safety
Car ban for mountains problematic, out of the blue The planned ban on car access to Auckland’s volcanoes is out of the blue and undemocratic, says ACT Leader and Epsom MP David Seymour.
“The Maunga Authority’s decision to end vehicle access to the top of Mount Eden and other cones comes after the government had promised that the Authority would not compromise existing public access and use rights .
“It is hard to reconcile that promise with this week’s announcement. For many New Zealanders, such as the elderly or those with injuries or disabilities, a ban on cars will effectively be an end to access.
“What stings even more is that today is 2014’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
“On a day when we should be celebrating inclusion and fair treatment, the Maunga Authority is threatening disabled, injured, and elderly people with, at best, a marginalising and bureaucratic process for gaining access to the summit, and at worst, a total end to their enjoyment of our mountaintops.
“Further considerations oug
Forget today's deficit - we must focus on long term fiscal health "Forget today’s deficit announcement – we need to focus on long-term fiscal health," said ACT Leader David Seymour.
"The Green and Labour Parties’ excitement over a tiny projected surplus turning into a small expected deficit is just childish. These are parties that wanted to hand out billions in an election lolly scramble, now purporting to discover fiscal probity.
"Labour and the Greens both had their platforms calculated as costing an additional $5 billion. Their largess would have put this deficit in the shade, and pushed up mortgage rates to boot.
"Revenue will always bounce around due to international and domestic influences, and in the short term there is no reason for the government to react to that.
"What matters is the general trend which, compared to most other countries, is promising – at least for the next few years.
"To avoid fiscal strife further down the line, we must address quality and effectiveness of spending, and scale an