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 ...
Right Thinking - the word from Wellington Dec 6 Home
A life of hard work, honest endeavour and public service
At his media conference this week with ACT President John Boscawen, ACT Leader John Banks said that early in his life he had made a commitment to hard work, honest endeavour and public service. This he said was to try to balance the family ledger.
These ACT values were at the fore this week when he put both party and country first. ACT he said needed a circuit breaker and a change in narrative. He intended to provide that by announcing he would see out the term serving the people of Epsom as their local MP, but would not seek re-election. He also said he intended to stand down as Party Leader at the ACT annual conference on 1 March 2014. This would allow him to focus on clearing his name. These decisions would maximise the opportunity for the ACT candidate to earn the confidence of the people of Epsom and the new ACT Leader to build a team to earn the necessary party votes for ACT.
The next election
Right Thinking - the word from Wellington Dec 20 Home
As good as it gets?
Finance Minister Bill English released the Budget Policy Statement and the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update this week confirming we are through the worst of the GFC. Treasury forecast an average growth rate of 2.6% over the next five years. They characterise this as relatively strong. However, it is significantly lower than forecast growth in a protein hungry Asia which accounts for about 44% of our trade and slightly less than Australia whose growth may, or may not, stay on forecast. Of course some of New Zealand’s growth results from the re-build in Canterbury.
Interestingly, Treasury note the strong increase in net permanent migration to New Zealand (17,500 in the year to October), half of which is from Australia and two-thirds of that, returning New Zealanders. This may be a good reason to stop advocating for an extension of Australian welfare entitlements to New Zealanders as all our Prime Ministers ritually do.
The size of government
Right Thinking - the word from Wellington Dec 13 Home
Avalanche of bad news and the adjournment
As the American writer and wit Mark Twain observed, no man’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session. This week, the Parliament wrapped up business for the year with most MPs returning to their electorates and regions.
December is also traditionally the month where Ministers release bad news. Ministers bearing bad news are like the wildebeest of the Serengeti in migration - there is safety in numbers when pressing towards Christmas. This is the time when the public are too pre-occupied to be further outraged. And most journalists are filled with the stories of year and working up their end of year retrospective pieces. An added advantage this year has been the death of the iconic Nelson Mandela and the speculation as to whether Mr Minto was more deserving of a place in the Prime Minister’s party to South Africa.
The major event in the Parliamentary calendar (aside from the Press Gallery party)
More money and new titles for teachers no answer ACT Leader John Banks panned today’s announcement that the Government will spend $359 million over four years by adding four new titles for educators.
“The collective bargaining system in the education sector prevents good teachers being paid more than non performing teachers” Mr Banks said.
“That is what the Ministry of Education and the unions have together created. All this announcement does, is do the end run around that.
“Teachers pay is worked out like the pay for the workers in a Soviet car factory.
“The announcement today treats the symptoms of that problem created not the cause.
“It is more Ministry of Education bureaucracy that adds to the complexity and inflexibility of the factory production pay system.
“If a principal is a chief executive of their school why not simply give them the flexibility to determine the salaries with their teachers? That is what every other chief executive does.
We won’t develop real educational leadership unless school leade