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Encyclopedia > ACT New Zealand
ACT New Zealand
Current ACT New Zealand logo
Leader Rodney Hide
Founded 1994
Headquarters Clovernook Road, Newmarket Auckland, New Zealand
Political ideology Classical Liberalism
International affiliation Not Affiliated
Website http://www.act.org.nz/

ACT New Zealand is a free market liberal party in the New Zealand Parliament. According to current party leader Rodney Hide the party stands for individual freedom, personal responsibility (trusting people), 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 [1]. Image File history File links ACT New Zealand (political party) logo. ... Rodney Hide Rodney Hide (born 16 December 1956), a New Zealand politician, became leader of the political party ACT New Zealand in 2004 and Member of Parliament for Epsom in 2005. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ... Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest urban area in New Zealand. ... Classical liberalism (also called laissez-faire liberalism[1]) is a term used: to label the philosophy developed by early liberals from the Age of Enlightenment until John Stuart Mill [2] to label the revived economic liberalism of the 20th century, seen in work by Friedrich Hayek[3] and Milton Friedman. ... A free market is an idealized market, where all economic decisions and actions by individuals regarding transfer of money, goods, and services are voluntary, and are therefore devoid of coercion and theft (some definitions of coercion are inclusive of theft). Colloquially and loosely, a free market economy is an economy... This is a list about liberalism and political parties around the world. ... The New Zealand Parliament is the legislative body of the New Zealand government. ... Rodney Hide Rodney Hide (born 16 December 1956), a New Zealand politician, became leader of the political party ACT New Zealand in 2004 and Member of Parliament for Epsom in 2005. ...


Supporters claim that ACT is one of the more noticeable opposition parties, known for its frequent and vociferous criticism of the government. Critics of the party point out that ACT is more interested in scoring political points and gaining media exposure than in participating in constructive dialogue, and criticise its two members of parliament with spending too much time with Army responsibilites and appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Many of its rank-and-file members are also perceived to have more in common with neo-conservatism than classical liberalism. [2] Supporters, however, say that ACT "keeps the government honest", and ensures accountability. Dancing with the Stars is a New Zealand television series based on the British series Strictly Come Dancing. ... Neoconservatism describes several distinct political ideologies which are considered new forms of conservatism. ... Classical liberalism (also called laissez-faire liberalism[1]) is a term used: to label the philosophy developed by early liberals from the Age of Enlightenment until John Stuart Mill [2] to label the revived economic liberalism of the 20th century, seen in work by Friedrich Hayek[3] and Milton Friedman. ...

Contents

Policies

Philosophy

ACT's philosophy is based on individual freedom and personal responsibility. Perhaps properly described as "classical liberal", ACT states its principles and policy objectives as:

Principles
  • That individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent freedoms and responsibilities
  • That the proper purpose of government is to protect such freedoms and not to assume such responsibilities.
Policy Objectives
  • A prosperous, well-educated, healthy, and open society in which individuals are free to achieve their full potential
  • A growing, dynamic, and open economy, in which individual choice is paramount
  • Social policy that promotes and rewards hard work, enterprise, thrift, and personal responsibility
  • A standard of living, and quality of life, that is the envy of the world.

Current issues

ACT New Zealand currently focuses on two main policy areas - taxation and crime. On the subject of taxes, ACT says that tax rates should be lower, and also supports something approaching a flat tax, in which tax rates would not be graduated based on wealth or income, so every taxpayer would pay the same proportion of their income in tax. The flat tax rate that ACT wants to target would be approximately 15%[citation needed]. Aligned to the lower tax proposal, ACT also wants to reduce or remove some Government programmes which they see as unnecessary and wasteful and increase self-reliance by encouraging individuals to take responsibility to pay for services traditionally paid for by Government. Critics point out that those with greater wealth would tend to cope with such self-reliance, whereas those with lower income with have fewer choices[citation needed]. A flat tax, also called a proportional tax, is a system that taxes all entities in a class (typically either citizens or corporations) at the same rate (as a proportion on income), as opposed to a graduated, or progressive, scheme. ...


On the subject of crime, ACT advocates harsher penalties as the crime rate in New Zealand is higher than other comparable countries - in particular violent crime such as murder and violent assault. Some critics claim that New Zealand's high crime rate is due to the economic structural reforms known as Rogernomics instituted by Labour and National during the 1980s and early 1990s, although supporters point out that the crime rate has been growing since the 1970s and peaked at the end of the reforms. The term Rogernomics, a portmanteau of Roger and economics, was created by analogy with Reaganomics to describe the economic policies followed by New Zealand Finance Minister Roger Douglas from his appointment in 1984. ...


Other policies ACT advocates include Welfare Reform similar to those instituted by the United States in the mid 1990s, based primarily on the reforms first undertaken in Wisconsin and a greater spend on defense with closer strategic alliances with the United States, Australia and Great Britain. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... In military science, defense (or defence) is the art of preventing an enemy from conquering territory. ...


The majority of ACT's caucus in parliament supported the recent Civil Unions legislation which gave legal recognition to same-sex couples. A majority also supported the legalisation of brothels.


History

Origins

ACT grew out of the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, although the two are separate organizations. The association was founded in 1993 by Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley, both former cabinet ministers. The organization was intended to be a lobby group, promoting the economic policies that Douglas and Quigley stood for (sometimes known as "Rogernomics"). 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Sir Roger Douglas is a former New Zealand politician and senior Cabinet minister, best known for his leading role in the radical economic restructuring undertaken by the New Zealand Labour Party government in the 1980s. ... Derek Francis Quigley (born 31 January 1932) is a former New Zealand politician. ... The term Rogernomics, a portmanteau of Roger and economics, was created by analogy with Reaganomics to describe the economic policies followed by New Zealand Finance Minister Roger Douglas from his appointment in 1984. ...


The following year, with the new MMP electoral system making it easier for smaller parties to gain seats, ACT New Zealand was established as a separate political party based on the association's views. Douglas selected longtime Labour Party activist Brian Nicolle to help him establish the party. The Additional Member System (AMS) is a voting system where some representatives are elected from geographic constituencies and others are elected under proportional representation from party lists. ...


The Association of Consumers and Taxpayers still exists on paper although there is little substance to it. The Association is technically a lobby group promoting free market economics. It holds its annual general meetings during the annual general meetings of ACT New Zealand and the members of the Board of Trustees also serve as board members of the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers.


Initially, the party was led by Douglas, but in March of 1996, he stepped down and was replaced by Richard Prebble. 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... The Honourable Richard William Prebble CBE, born 7 February 1948, was for many years a member of the New Zealand Parliament. ...


1996-1999

In the 1996 election, ACT gained eight seats in Parliament--one electorate seat and seven list seats. Prebble was elected in Wellington Central; some believe that he won after Prime Minister Jim Bolger appeared to endorse Prebble over his own National Party's candidate. ACT had by this time adopted the role of a natural coalition partner with National (a significant departure from Douglas and Prebble's origins in Labour), and would have been assured representation in Parliament if Prebble won. However, some observers pointed out that Prebble had a substantial lead well before the election and would have won even without Bolger's endorsement. It ended up being a moot point, as ACT won 6.1 percent of the vote, well over the MMP threshold. It remained outside the National-New Zealand First coalition government, although sometimes gave it support. The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealands head of government and is the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand. ... The Right Honourable James Brendan Jim Bolger, ONZ, (born 31 May 1935) was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1990 to 1997. ... Current National Party logo The New Zealand National Party is the second largest political party in the New Zealand Parliament, and forms the core of the Opposition. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... New Zealand First functions as a political party in New Zealand. ...


1999-2002

In the election of 1999, ACT increased its strength in parliament by one seat, giving it a total of nine, although Prebble lost his Wellington Central electorate seat.


2002-2005

In the 2002 election, ACT's strength in parliament remained unchanged, prompting speculation about Prebble's leadership. However there were no obvious challenges, and Prebble remained in control until he decided to resign in 2004.


In 2003, the party was embarrassed by allegations against Donna Awatere Huata, one of its MPs. It was claimed that Awatere Huata had diverted funds from a children's educational program for her own personal use, and an official investigation was launched. This investigation eventually led to Awatere Huata's arrest for fraud. As ACT had a reputation for vociferously attacking any perceived dishonesty by members of other parties, the charges against Awatere Huata were quite embarrassing. Awatere Huata refused to resign from Parliament, but was expelled from the ACT caucus. That November, she was removed from the party itself, becoming an independent. ACT tried to remove her from Parliament by invoking the Electoral Integrity Act, as her departure from the party left ACT with fewer seats than the public had chosen to give it at the last election. In November 2004, Awatere Huata was finally removed from Parliament after her last court challenge failed, and the next person on the ACT list, Kenneth Wang, was appointed in her place. Donna Lynn Awatere Huata (sometimes written Awatere-Huata) is a former member of the New Zealand Parliament. ... A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. ... Kenneth Xiaoxuan Wang (born 1955) is a New Zealand politician, representing the ACT New Zealand party. ...


Towards the end of 2003, there was discussion about a possible pact between ACT and the larger National Party. Although ACT had long portrayed itself as a natural coalition partner for National, there has never been a formal agreement between the two. Some right-wing politicians believe that an agreement is essential to the establishment of a new right-wing government, and point to the pre-election agreement between Labour and the Alliance in 1999. As yet, however, there has been no deal. Current Alliance logo The Alliance, when referring to New Zealand politics, refers to a left-wing political party. ...


On 27 April 2004, Richard Prebble announced his retirement from politics. After an "indicative" ballot of the party's members, Rodney Hide was chosen as Prebble's successor. The other candidates were Ken Shirley (the party's deputy leader), Stephen Franks, and Muriel Newman. The leadership race saw considerable tension between two factions of the party - Rodney Hide, one of the two main contenders, was regarded as representing a "populist", high-profile approach, while his main rival, Stephen Franks, was seen as more ideologically grounded. ACT's founder, Roger Douglas, saw Hide's alleged "grandstanding" as detracting from the group's core message, and had spoken out in favour of Franks and Shirley. In the end, however, Hide was successful, and was announced as the party's new leader on 13 June 2004. April 27 is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 248 days remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Rodney Hide Rodney Hide (born 16 December 1956), a New Zealand politician, became leader of the political party ACT New Zealand in 2004 and Member of Parliament for Epsom in 2005. ... Kenneth Lex Shirley (12 August 1950 - ), generally called Ken Shirley, is a New Zealand politician. ... Stephen Franks (born 1950) is a New Zealand politician. ... Dr. Muriel Newman (6 April 1950 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... June 13 is the 164th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (165th in leap years), with 201 days remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


2005 election

In the lead-up to the election in 2005, opinion polls showed ACT support well below the 5% threshold. ACT's best prospect of winning an electorate was in the relatively wealthy National-held Epsom seat where Hide was standing. The party was ruled out as "dead" by much of the media, possibly assisting the downward spiral (see: Wasted vote), especially as polls conducted in the Epsom seat had incorrectly showed Hide's support being far below National's candidate. It was repeatedly put to the National Party that they could ensure the survival of ACT in Parliament as a potential coalition partner by supporting Hide in Epsom. While not emphatically ruling out the possibility, then National leader Don Brash stuck to the line that National "had no plans to do a deal". The Labour Party, however, saw the possibility of National supporters voting for Hide and encouraged their own supporters to vote for the National candidate in order to shut ACT out of parliament. Wikinews has news related to: Results of the 2005 New Zealand General Election The 2005 New Zealand general election took place on 17 September 2005 and determined the composition of the 48th New Zealand Parliament. ... In the study of electoral systems, a wasted vote may be defined in 2 different ways: any vote which is not for an elected candidate. ... Dr Donald Thomas Brash (born 24 September 1940), New Zealand politician, served as the Leader of the Opposition and parliamentary leader of the National Party, the countrys main opposition party from 28 October 2003 to 27 November 2006. ...


Hide won the seat by a moderate margin--only the second time that ACT had won an electorate seat. Nationwide, ACT's vote fell by a greater extent than any of the other small parties. It won only 1.5% of vote, winning only one additional list seat, that of Heather Roy. Roy has since become the party's new deputy leader, as the party's support had dropped enough to keep former deputy Muriel Newman from returning to Parliament. Heather Roy Heather Roy (5 March 1964 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... Dr. Muriel Newman (6 April 1950 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ...


2005-2006

Since the election ACT has set about the mammoth task of restoring the party, in terms of membership and finances. This has had limited success and the party is a long way off the levels of support it enjoyed in the mid nineties. The ACT Annual Conference was held in Wellington over the weekend of March 24-26 2006. An almost entirely new Board was elected, reflecting the need for a change of direction within the party, and the emergence of a strong youth presence. Hamilton business-owner Garry Mallett was elected President, defeating Hawkes Bay farmer and former ACT Vice-President John Ormond. Christchurch's Trevor Loudon replaced Ormond as Vice-President, defeating Auckland's Barry Parkin. The Conference was most notable for the attendance of Māori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia. While the Māori Party and ACT do oppose each other in several areas, policies on welfare, tax and education are very similar. On completion of her speech, Turia received a standing ovation from the predominantly Pākehā and Asian crowd. Her presence is seen by many as a move by the ACT Party's Rodney Hide to broker a coalition of opposition parties to contest the 2008 election against the Labour minority Government. Garry Mallett is a New Zealand politician. ... John Ormond (1923 - 1990), was a Welsh poet and filmaker. ... Trevor Loudon is a New Zealand political activist who is currently serving as vice president of the ACT New Zealand Party. ... The Māori Party, a political party in New Zealand based around Māori citizens, formed around Tariana Turia, a former Labour Party member who had been a New Zealand Cabinet minister in the current Labour-dominated coalition government. ... Tariana Turia (born 8 April 1944) is a New Zealand politician. ... Pākehā is a term generally used to describe New Zealanders of Anglo/European extraction, but to many Māori it also means non-Māori or foreigner. ...


Hide has also sought to "rebrand" the party. While not moving away from ACT's key tenets of freedom, choice, and personal responsibility, Hide has said that provided the governing Labour Party promise (amongst other things) significant tax cuts, ACT could provide the centre-left party with support. This is seen by many as a departure from ACT's position of being a staunch National ally. Others point out that ACT is a centre-right liberal party (as opposed to National, a conservative party) and as such have many areas of agreement with Labour (seen as more liberal than National).


This new approach by the ACT Party has been in place (at least publicly) since Rodney Hide and Deputy leader (and fellow MP) Heather Roy returned from a privately funded tour of Europe. During this trip, Hide and Roy met with a number of political parties, including the Irish Progressive Democrats, and the German Free Democrats, both parties with similar ideologies to ACT, but with substantially better electoral records. The Progressive Democrats (in Irish An Páirtí Daonlathach, literal back-translation: The Democratic Party) is a free market liberal party in the Republic of Ireland founded in 1985. ... Free Democrats can be: Association of Free Democrats (East German) Free Democrats of Arjeplog (Swedish) Free Democratic Party (Germany) Free Democratic Party (Switzerland) Free-minded Democratic League (Netherlands) Union of Free Democrats (Bulgaria) This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ...


Office holders

Organisational President

Rodney Hide Rodney Hide (born 16 December 1956), a New Zealand politician, became leader of the political party ACT New Zealand in 2004 and Member of Parliament for Epsom in 2005. ... Sir Roger Douglas is a former New Zealand politician and senior Cabinet minister, best known for his leading role in the radical economic restructuring undertaken by the New Zealand Labour Party government in the 1980s. ... Catherine is managing director of Awaroa Partners. ... Garry Mallett is a New Zealand politician. ...

Vice-President

  • David Schnauer (1999-2000)
  • Rodney Hide (2000-2001)
  • Vince Ashworth (2001-2004)
  • John Ormond (2004-2006)
  • Trevor Loudon (2006-present)

Trevor Loudon is a New Zealand political activist who is currently serving as vice president of the ACT New Zealand Party. ...

Parliamentary Party Leader

Sir Roger Douglas is a former New Zealand politician and senior Cabinet minister, best known for his leading role in the radical economic restructuring undertaken by the New Zealand Labour Party government in the 1980s. ... The Honourable Richard William Prebble CBE, born 7 February 1948, was for many years a member of the New Zealand Parliament. ... Rodney Hide Rodney Hide (born 16 December 1956), a New Zealand politician, became leader of the political party ACT New Zealand in 2004 and Member of Parliament for Epsom in 2005. ...

Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader

Kenneth Lex Shirley (12 August 1950 - ), generally called Ken Shirley, is a New Zealand politician. ... Dr. Muriel Newman (6 April 1950 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... Heather Roy Heather Roy (5 March 1964 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ...

Members of Parliament

Deborah Coddington (5 February 1953 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... Derek Francis Quigley (born 31 January 1932) is a former New Zealand politician. ... Donna Lynn Awatere Huata (sometimes written Awatere-Huata) is a former member of the New Zealand Parliament. ... Gerard Eckhoff is a New Zealand politician. ... Heather Roy Heather Roy (5 March 1964 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... Kenneth Lex Shirley (12 August 1950 - ), generally called Ken Shirley, is a New Zealand politician. ... Kenneth Xiaoxuan Wang (born 1955) is a New Zealand politician, representing the ACT New Zealand party. ... Dr. Muriel Newman (6 April 1950 - ) is a New Zealand politician. ... Patricia Schnauer (30 July 1942 - ) is a former New Zealand politician. ... Penny Webster is a former New Zealand politician. ... The Honourable Richard William Prebble CBE, born 7 February 1948, was for many years a member of the New Zealand Parliament. ... Rodney Hide Rodney Hide (born 16 December 1956), a New Zealand politician, became leader of the political party ACT New Zealand in 2004 and Member of Parliament for Epsom in 2005. ... Stephen Franks (born 1950) is a New Zealand politician. ...

See also

ACT on Campus is the youth wing of ACT New Zealand. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... This is an (partial) overview of individuals that contributed to the development of liberal theory on a worldwide scale and therefore are strongly associated with the liberal tradition and instrumental in the exposition of political liberalism as a philosophy. ... This article discusses liberalism as a major political current in specific regions and countries. ... This is an overview of parties that adhere more or less (explicitly) to the ideas of political liberalism and is therefore a list of liberal parties around the world. ... Liberal democracy is a form of government. ... This article gives an overview of liberalism in New Zealand. ... The 2005 New Zealand general election took place on 17 September 2005 and determined the composition of the 48th New Zealand Parliament. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Rodney Hide, "Speech to ACT Auckland Regional Conference, 30 July 2006"
  2. ^ Peron, "The New Anti-PC Problem"

External links

  • ACT New Zealand official site
  • ACT on Campus ACT's Youth Wing
  • Rodney Hide's personal website
  • New Zealand's New Zealots by R.W. Bradford — 1997 Article for Liberty magazine, about ACT and the Libertarianz
  • Is this the end of the road for Act? - NZ Herald Article
  • Open Directory Project ACT - The Liberal Party

  Liberty magazine is a leading libertarian magazine founded in 1987 and published in Port Townsend, Washington and edited by R. W. Bradford. ... Libertarianz is a political party in New Zealand (hence the NZ at the end of their name) dedicated to libertarianism, and claims to be the only party in New Zealand dedicated to maximising personal freedom and reducing the size of government – to getting government out of your face, out of...

Political parties in New Zealand Flag of New Zealand
Parliament: ACT | Greens | Labour | Māori | National | New Zealand First | Progressives | United Future
Other: 99 MP | Alliance | Democrats | Destiny | Direct Democracy | Equal Values | Family Rights Protection | Freedom | Legalise Cannabis | Libertarianz | National Front | One New Zealand | Outdoor Recreation | Republic of New Zealand | Socialist Workers | Te Tawharau | Workers | World Socialists

  Results from FactBites:
 
ACT New Zealand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1885 words)
On the subject of taxes, ACT says that tax rates should be lower, and also supports something approaching a flat tax, in which tax rates would not be graduated based on wealth or income, so every taxpayer would pay the same proportion of their income in tax.
Some critics claim that New Zealand's high crime rate is due to the economic structural reforms known as Rogernomics instituted by Labour and National during the 1980s and early 1990s, although supporters point out that the crime rate has been growing since the 1970s and peaked at the end of the reforms.
ACT tried to remove her from Parliament by invoking the Electoral Integrity Act, as her departure from the party left ACT with fewer seats than the public had chosen to give it at the last election.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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