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 ...
Free Press - Plastic, scaffolds, and China Plastic Bags
Should the government ban plastic bags? If reducing the number of plastic bags used is good for the environment, what might we be willing to sacrifice to avoid having them around? What would it cost us?
Some of the Costs
A 2012 study by George Mason University found switching to reusable bags killed about five people a year in San Francisco, because their bags were left unclean and grew germs. Keeping meat and vegetables in the same bag gets messy over time. And leaving bags for long periods in the car boot provides a hothouse for bacteria. Economist Eric Crampton scales that up for the NZ population, concluding that the cost of banning plastic bags here would be about 20 human deaths per year.
So the question for the advocates of banning bags is this: is it worth causing an extra 20 avoidable deaths per year?
You cannot defend the anti-plastic bag position by saying that people should clean their re-usable bags. We have to deal wit
Worksafe red tape making housing less affordable “Workplace safety standards need to be justified in cost-benefit terms,” says ACT Leader David Seymour in the wake of a new report  on building safety red tape.
“The existing regulations form yet another regulatory barrier to housing affordability,” said Mr Seymour.
“Builders are being forced to take ‘all practicable steps’ to ensure workplace safety. The threshold is drawn so low that builders even have to erect scaffolding on single-story sites.
“Scaffolding requirements are just one example of how Worksafe adds compliance costs as high as $150 million to housing developments across the country. This cost is inevitably passed on to home buyers and renters.
“MBIE and Worksafe need to balance the costs versus the benefits of their safety regulations. Improving safety is a noble goal, but it doesn’t give the government a mandate to ignore the effects of regulation on ballooning housing costs.
“The high cost of existing safety laws shows we ought to cast a criti
Today's rates shock is set to be repeated “Today’s confirmed rate rises of over 40% for some Aucklanders are the result of a council with completely unrealistic ideas about its role,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The purpose of local government should be to provide affordable infrastructure allowing New Zealanders to get on with building, working, and living.
“Unfortunately Auckland Council is determined to rack up debt by role playing as a city state, complete with diplomatic missions and countless unelected, generously-funded authorities and advisory panels.
“It’s the task of repaying this debt, set to rise from $4.8 billion to $12.5 billion within 10 years, that has resulted in today’s dismaying news for ratepayers.
“Rate shocks, cost-overruns, and infrastructure deficits will continue until there is a major culture change within Council.
“We could force this culture change by returning rating power to local boards, making elected representatives accountable to local voters for local spending. This
Ditch provisional tax "Labour are correct to pick up on the ideas in the IRD green paper the government released in March, and call for archaic provisional tax regulations on small businesses to be ditched," says ACT Leader David Seymour.
"Small business people have long complained that paying tax based on the previous year's earnings, rather than this year's can create a cashflow nightmare.
"Provisional tax is out of date and unnecessary in the age of digital financial transfers. The IRD needs to recognise its impact on the cashflows of small businesses.
"Smoothing the tax year and adapting to new technological realities would be easy wins for small business."
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