New Zealand First is just too expensive

“The independent Taxpayers' Union now estimates that Winston Peters has made more spending promises than Labour and the Greens combined,” said Dr Whyte, ACT’s Leader.  

“I believe the Taxpayers' Union is underestimating New Zealand First’s promises, because every time I have appeared on a platform with Mr Peters I discover that he has never seen a spending proposal he does not like. At his present rate of promising, by Election Day New Zealand First will be spending more than all the other parties combined. 

“This would be funny except in office Mr Peters is the all-time biggest spender. It was New Zealand First that smashed the accord on superannuation which means we now have an unsustainable retirement scheme. We just cannot afford Mr Peters," said Dr Whyte.

Greens will put tens of thousands out of work with their $18 minimum wage

 "The $18 minimum wage championed by the Greens will throw tens of thousands of low skilled New Zealanders out of a job and condemn them to a life on the benefit. At no point do the Greens discuss the employment consequences of their massive minimum wage rise", said Dr Whyte.

 "What is deeply suspicious is the Greens did not ask BERL or Infometrics to QA their policy. Dr Norman was officious to the point of prissiness about the use of independent consultants to QA his economic policy releases”, said Dr Whyte.

 “Obviously, the Greens didn't like the inconvenient truths they were going to be told if they subjected their employment policy to an independent audit. Once they have opened that door, the Greens cannot pick and choose when they have their policies subject to independent audits", said Dr Whyte.

 "The economic effects of minimum wage increases could not be plainer. Professor Gail Pacheco’s research repeatedly finds that the increases in the minimum wage over the last 10 to 15 years in New Zealand reduced employment, increased unemployment, and reduced enrolment in education and training among teenagers:

 1.                   Maloney and Pacheco (2012) found that the real minimum wages increased by nearly 33% for adults and 123% for teenagers in New Zealand between 1999 and 2008. Where fewer than 2% of workers were being paid a minimum wage in 1999, more than 8% of adult workers and 60% of teenage workers are receiving hourly earnings close to the minimum wage. They estimated that a 10% increase in minimum wages, even without any offsetting reduction in earnings due to a loss in employment or hours of work, would lower the relative poverty rate by less than one-tenth of a percentage point!

2.                   Pacheco (2011) reviewed the impact of rising minimum wages on employment in New Zealand over 1986–2004 and found significant negative employment effects of a higher minimum wage.

3.                   Pacheco and Cruickshank (2007) found the youth minimum wage increases resulted in some age groups undergoing a 91% rise in their real minimum wage over the last 10 years. They found that for 16–19 year olds, minimum wage rises have a statistically significant negative effect on educational enrolment levels”, said Dr Whyte.

 “Minimum wage advocates fail to take seriously that the low paid workers who lose their jobs because of minimum wage increases are real, living people. They suffer when their interests are traded off for the greater good of their fellow low-paid workers who are lucky enough to retain their jobs at a slightly higher pay, many of whom come from much wealthier households than them.” said Dr Whyte.

“The case for the minimum wage increase championed by the Greens gets no better if you think of it as offsetting alleged market power of employers to keep wages down. A small minimum wage increase, and the literature in this area only ever supported small minimum wage rises, must jump the following hurdles:

1.       The minimum wage must be chosen correctly – the optimum minimum wage can be set only if the demand and supply of labour are known over a considerable range;

2.       The optimum minimum wage varies with occupation (and, within an occupation, with the quality of worker);

3.       The optimum minimum wage varies among firms (and plants); and

4.       The optimum minimum wage varies, often rapidly, through time;

A uniform national minimum wage, infrequently changed, is wholly unsuited to these diverse local labour market and individual business conditions," said Dr Whyte.

 “The notion that every employer in New Zealand will be willing to start an ordinary 16-year-old school leaver on $18 an hour defies belief. School and university students working part time in supermarkets and cafes can kiss their jobs good-bye" said Dr Whyte.

 “If the minimum wage can be set at the click of a political finger in an election campaign, what's stopping the Greens from putting the minimum wage up even higher, to the average wage? When will the minimum wage be too high under a Greens dominated government? ” said Dr Whyte

 “The Greens should listen to the impeccably left-wing New York Times from 1987, when it still remembered some basic economics:

‘Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market. A far better way to help them would be to subsidize their wages or – better yet – help them acquire the skills needed to earn more on their own…

Raise the legal minimum price of labour above the productivity of the least skilled workers and fewer will be hired. If a higher minimum means fewer jobs, why does it remain on the agenda of some liberals?

A higher minimum would undoubtedly raise the living standard of the majority of low-wage workers who could keep their jobs.

That gain, it is argued, would justify the sacrifice of the minority who became unemployable.

The argument isn’t convincing. Those at greatest risk from a higher minimum wage would be young, poor workers, who already face formidable barriers to getting and keeping jobs.’

The title of that editorial was The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00” said Dr Whyte.

 “The only way to lift the rate of wages growth for the low paid is faster economic growth. Only ACT’s policies of a top tax rate of 24% and a company tax rate of 12.5% by 2020 will increase the economic growth rate by at least one-third” said Dr Whyte.

More good Questions for Mr. Cunliffe

Exempting the family home from Capital Gains taxes is harder than it sounds.  What if you charge one of the children board?  What if it is one of the children’s friends?  A boarder?  Many South Auckland families share a house.  When does it stop being a family house?  If you take a job overseas or elsewhere and rent the home for a while, is it still a family home? What about the Granny flat?  What if it is not granny?

Labour’s proposal is not fair.  The million dollar Dotcom mansions will be capital tax free and the Otara ex-state house will be taxed because the owner needed extra income to pay the mortgage. 

Bottom line demands by minor parties destabilising

"Bottom line demands by minor parties are destabilising and undemocratic," said Dr Jamie Whyte.

"Colin Craig says referenda being binding is a bottom line and now Winston Peters says a Royal Commission is a bottom line. Polls say the vast majority of voters think the economy, education and health are far more important than either issue. Both men are prepared to overthrow the will of the people.

"ACT has survived 18 years and achieved more policy wins because we do not believe in making bottom line demands. A party's influence should reflect its electoral support. In ACT's case everyone knows ACT always supports lower taxes, less Nanny state and more personal responsibility. With New Zealand First and the Conservatives you never know how they will vote on an issue. Today it is a Royal Commission but tomorrow who knows. The Conservatives and NZ First just make whatever they think will give them a headline a bottom line. It makes for unstable government."

Contractions and Misrepresentations from the Conservative Party 003 2014

Conservative Pamphlet – 003 2014 – Foreign Ownership


Conservative Statement

The problem with this statement


The 2014 election will be deciding the vital question of whether or not we continue to sell our land to foreign business interests.

Scare mongering xenophobic rubbish.  Around two percent of all New Zealand land is owned by foreigners.  That is right 2%



This is a very serious issue and it is up to you to decide and vote to save our country.

Foreigners have been able to buy land in New Zealand since the Treaty of Waitangi. The benefits have outweighed the costs. This is not a crisis issue.  The rules for buying farm land are very tough.


The politicians of National, Labour and New Zealand First have failed.

National has steered us through one of the great financial crises to hit the western world.  Land sales to foreigners were greater under Labour


Under their watch huge tracts of New Zealand have been sold.

…..and the world has not ended.  The NZ Parliament still makes laws that apply to that land, and there are more jobs as a result.


The Conservative Party is saying that it is time to stop the sell out.

Translation:  Stop individuals legally selling their own land to whoever they choose.  That is communism when the state claims to own your land.   

Oh – and by saying “No” to foreign investment we will all get poorer.


If foreign business interests are able to buy our land they will certainly do so.

They have been able to do so for 170 years and have purchased two percent.  The Conservatives fail to mention that most foreign purchases of land have over time been resold to a Kiwi - often with improvements.


Our local farmers and investors simply cannot outbid huge international corporates that have vast financial resources and in some cases assistance from governments.

Nonsense.  Most farm sales are to Kiwis.  There are no records of Kiwi purchases overseas but it is likely that they are larger than sales in New Zealand to foreigners.    

There are Kiwi farm ventures in Australia, Chile, the USA, Brazil to name a few.  Fonterra has just made a large purchase of shares in a major Chinese milk processor.

New Zealanders purchase overseas land for the same reason foreigners buy here.  The purchasers think they can bring new technology and know- how to add value to the benefit of the country.


If we sell our land then we will become tenants in our own country.

Nonsense.  No one is selling “our” land.  The   Land belongs to individuals or companies.   This is not a communist state.



You may have heard about how well our wine industry is doing, about how we make great wines, and that this is helping our economy.

That is great isn’t it?  Let’s wonder for a moment why they are so successful?


Actually the truth is that the vast majority (70-80%) of our wine industry is ultimately owned by foreign companies.

Maybe the overseas ownership is one of the reasons they are so successful—you know vertically integrated, good overseas distribution networks so the product gets into all the big supermarkets and restaurants. 

The point Colin just made is that we should have more foreign ownership!


This means that when you buy New Zealand wine, most of the profit is going offshore.

None of the wages or the taxes the companies pay goes off shore.  The amount overseas companies invest in New Zealand exceeds the profits they pay.



“Conquered” – melodramatic and false. Overseas companies have to abide by the law and pay taxes. 


In New Zealand we are steadily being taken over by foreign business interests.

So not just foreign land owners but now all foreign investors are evil and bad.

It is rubbish.  If foreigners had not invested in banking, insurance, the freezing industry New Zealand would not be a first world country.  Overseas insurance companies are paying to rebuild Christchurch.

Countries that ban overseas investment are amongst the poorest in the world.


They aren’t using guns but they are using money and stealth.

They are just following the law and creating local jobs.   In the case of the wine industry they have helped create a new export industry.


The money is easy to come by if you are an international corporate in a government relationship.

More rubbish.  Most overseas investment comes from the UK, Australia and the USA.  Name one company getting this easy money.  This is clearly aimed at Chinese companies and there is very little investment from China but New Zealand companies are investing there.


Firstly you can base your business activities in tax havens …

New Zealand has very tough tax laws.  Transfer pricing is not allowed.  The IRD has brought successful case against for example the Australian banks.

ACT will have a 12.5% corporate tax rate and a low flat income tax.   More overseas corporations will base some of their operations in New Zealand.


…and secondly you can have unlimited money to use if a government is prepared to print and lend it to you.

This is fantasy stuff.  What is this mysterious company that has “unlimited money?   If they are willing to come to New Zealand and give it to us that might be nice but we have more chance of winning Lotto.


Stealth means to do something carefully and quietly to escape detection.

Are the Conservatives claiming that companies investing in New Zealand have avoided the Overseas Investment Commission?  Or is he just making this up? They are following the law of NZ.


I have found that most New Zealanders simply don’t know the scale of the sell-out that has been going on.

Because what you are saying is a lie. 


As a country we don’t even keep a register that accurately records foreign ownership.

That is not true either.  The Overseas Commission has kept a record of every application.  It has advised very little sensitive land has been sold to foreigners.   


Until the Crafar Farms takeover and the recently exposed Lochinver deal, most New Zealanders have simply been unaware that we are losing our country.

The land is going nowhere.  The Crafar farms that were run down and the centre of animal cruelty allegations have been managed by Landcorp (government owned) and have received a massive investment creating new jobs and export income.

To be converted to dairy the new owners will need to invest multi millions of dollars and create many new jobs.


But now you do know.

…the contradictions and misrepresentations of the Conservatives.


You can do something about it this election by using your Party vote for the Conservative Party.

Who will get less than the 5% threshold and have no MPs….


A vote for the Conservative Party is a vote to stop the sell-out.

… is actually a wasted vote. 


A Party vote for ACT will count because we will win Epsom.

Party vote ACT and get a considered and thought through set of policies.

Colin Craig says that he may support David Cunliffe and the loony parties of the left who will stall the economic recovery.

Party vote ACT for strong and stable government.


ACT only party reducing taxes and saving waste

"ACT is delighted that, according to the Taxpayers' Union independent assessment, the party's policies will save the average household $6,875 over three years," said Dr Jamie Whyte. 

"We note that every other party increases the cost of government to households. According to the Bribe-o-meter, ACT is the only party that is not bribing voters with taxpayers' money. Our policies reduce government spending by a total of $11.6 billion over three years.

"ACT has achieved this saving for households by careful costing of its proposals  The bulk of ACT's cost reduction comes from getting rid of crony capitalism, the practice of politicians giving taxpayers' money to their favoured firms. ACT is pleased its spending reductions have no effect on education and health spending.

"What the Taxpayer's Union does not measure is the increased investment, growth and jobs from ACT's policy of flatter personal income taxes and reducing New Zealand's high company tax rate. The benefit to every household from ACT's tax cuts and waste reduction will be even greater."

The full results of the Bribe-o-meter can be viewed here:

The Letter - 1 September 2014

1 September, 2014

28 thousand reasons to tactically vote ACT

Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each.  United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs.  ACT just needs 1.3% or 28 thousand Party votes to get in Jamie Whyte.  National needs 62 thousand votes to get another list MP.  (It is a mad system because electorate seats are deducted from number of list seats won).  The German is stealing the election.  More Left voters are party voting Internet/Mana.  Right/center voters are blowing the election by wasting their vote with the Conservatives.  Colin Craig says if he does get 5% he may support David Cunliffe to be PM. (TV3).  

This is the deciding week
In MMP it is the minor parties who decide the election outcome.  This week the Minor Party Leaders have three TV debates.  TV3’s debate is on Wednesday, TVNZ on Friday and tomorrow on Chinese station TV33 there is a debate that may decide the election.  There are over 120,000 Chinese voters.   This Sunday 11 am Ellerslie Event Centre, Ascot Ave, ACT has its campaign opening.  The commentators said Jamie Whyte won the first TV3 debate so this could be ACT’s week.

The con in conservative is for con.
Colin Craig’s campaign is dishonest.   He has stolen other parties’ policies but done no costing.  He is promising everything to everyone.  He says he is in favour of flat tax, smaller government and tough on crime.  His flat tax would have to be at 34 percent, a massive tax increase for middle earners.  He has not seen a spending proposal he is not for.  He has no new anti-crime ideas like ACT’s 3 strikes for burglary. His list will elect no 5 Edward Saafi who claims young Tongans are committing suicide because they are not being smacked. (Sunday Star Times).  ACT has fact checked the Conservatives glossy household pamphlet and it is full of contractions see

Judith Collins problem
The Letter thinks it is highly unlikely Judith Collins was conspiring against her chief executive.  The last time a minister leaked against a Chief executive was when Helen Clark leaked to journalists to force Peter Doone to resign.  But we agree with John Key that Collins had to go.  She has an incurable problem.  Judith Collins lacks a quality you need to be Minster of Justice and that is judgment.

The media are stealing our election
Green co leader Metiria Turei is being  uncritically reported calling for Judith Collins office to be “locked down” to prevent destruction of evidence.  A scurrilous allegation, now typical of the Greens.  The destruction of any ministerial files is an offence under the Archives Act.  The media ought to know the claim is absurd.  All ministerial computers are automatically backed up to a separate server under the control of government computer services. It is impossible for a minister’s office to destroy records.

Secret Commissions are wrong
No one objects to bloggers having political bias but if you are taking money to say things then you have a duty to your readers to tell them.  But bloggers lack of ethics is not a government problem.

Bloggers are still the future

We commend David Farrar’s decision to sign up to the media code of ethics. The mainstream media are so hostile to the bloggers because the bloggers are winning.  Discrediting one blogger will not stop the trend. The media would be better off to ask why are people going to blogs?  Is it because the media’s coverage of the election is so bad?  You cannot find out the parties policies from TV or the print media. You must go to the blogs.  If you want to know how much the parties are promising you have to go to the Taxpayer’s Union blog. If you want to know how MMP works in Epsom you need to go to Kiwiblog.  And people go to Whale Oil because he breaks more stories.     

Sunday Star Times $12 billion mistake
An example of why newspaper sales are falling.   Adam Dudding said in yesterday’s Sunday Star Times that ‘ACT’s policies would theoretically return $12 billion to the government coffers – but don’t forget that this would be done by slashing government services’.   He just made this up. ACT’s alternative budget, published in May, proposes $4 billion of tax cuts. These are funded by cuts in corporate welfare ($1.4 billion), cuts in middle-class welfare ($1.65 billion), abolition of the carbon trading system carbon trading system ($217 million) and cuts in government waste ($763 million). No government services are cut in ACT’s Alternative Budget.  Dudding just made up the slashing of government services and the $12 billion.  No wonder people are turning to blogs.

Last week we accused the Electoral Commission for being responsible for the Party Opening Broadcast being shown at the same time as the rugby test.  State Television made the decision.  Why have a government owned broadcaster when they put advertising revenue ahead of covering the election?  The Letter did hear a good idea on Media Matters.  The taxpayer owns another TV channel that at present is broadcasting “Parliament TV. The next sitting of the House of Representatives will be after the General Election on a date to be notified”.   Taxpayers paid for the party broadcasts which almost no one has seen.  Why not show then on Parliamentary TV?  Parliament is now a TV studio with fixed cameras.  Why not hold Election Debates in the Chamber?     

Who won the leaders debate?
Every election the media says the Leader of the Opposition won the Leaders debate.  The media used to say little Bill Rowling beat Muldoon.  It is because the expectation is the PM will win and the media are so surprised the Leader of the Opposition is not knocked out.  You cannot win a debate unless one party makes a mistake.  We think Cunliffe made the mistake when John Key showed  over Lochinver station that Labour’s policy is the same as National’s.

Welcoming Immigration

My latest political experience was to be invited along to a meeting of the Auckland Asian Association.  I was attending along with ACT Deputy Leader Kenneth Wang.

The first couple of hours were filled with speeches. The conference was opened by AAA President Peter Chan, a man I have huge respect for. It was an honour to have him join the Affordable Auckland ticket I formed in 2013 to fight the local body elections. We were a hastily formed group, holding our Inaugural General Meeting just a few months prior to the local body elections. I’ll always be grateful to him for lending his prestigious name to our effort to oppose the Len Brown/City Vision nightmare which inevitably secured victory in that election.

I take enormous pride in knowing that as an ACT candidate, I represent a political party that alone fights racism in every form in this election.  Our resolve is not shaken by snide ignorant remarks, not one sided polls where leading questions give them impression that most New Zealanders are concerned by immigration and foreign investment.

Economic protectionism is an old concept which prevails to this day. New Zealand’s most important free trade agreement is with a country that hides its free market nature with a communist mask. Trade unionist economic border advocates attempt to spread hysteria amongst their membership by making claims that imply every inch of the country is going to be peeled off and exported to another nation with a face that looks different to our own.

It is essential to New Zealand’s future prosperity that yellow fever and racial ignorance by a disturbingly significant number of voters is marginalised and ignored. Robert Muldoon once made us the Poland of the South Pacific. It would be an economically and morally destructive disaster to repeat the mistakes of the past.

I welcome every single individual who identifies New Zealand as being a country where they can improve their own lives and then migrates here to try to do that. As a senior manager working for a supermarket, my desk is crossed several times a day by ambitious immigrants whom desperately want me to employ them. Unfortunately I only have the time to interview just a handful of the dozens of immigrants who ask for a job. The majority of my staff are Indian because the majority of the job applicants are Indian. I don’t judge them on their ethnicity and their ethnicity doesn’t guarantee any results. Some of the successful applicants quickly show themselves to be disappointing. However, others go in the other direction. They are dedicated, they are ambitious; they are willing to do whatever it takes to prove they deserve to be promoted to the next step. They remind me a lot of myself; however I didn’t have the threat of deportation hanging over my head.

Over the years I have received my own promotions and not only taken over greater responsibility but also been responsible for more staff. As most managers will accept, some of these staff will be willing to just work within their times, do their best but not want to go any further.

That’s fine. Some staff will muck you around as much as possible and you will regret, on a daily basis, being the person who put your own name and reputation behind them. The most satisfying part of my job is hiring and identifying winners; people who are desperate to grow in their jobs and want nothing less than the achieve as much as possible.

Those are values which we should cherish in New Zealand. It shouldn’t matter what their skin colour, accent or religion is; those who strive for the best should be welcomed and appreciated in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, my high achieving foreign employees are a real nuisance. Through no fault of their own, they create endless trails of worries and increased workload for me. This is because of the bullshit the Immigration Department makes me go through if I want them to continue their employment with me past their visa deadline.

My role in my supermarket management position is to oversee the Liquor, Grocery and General Merchandise departments. Most of the filling for these departments is done at night time. To a person who has never managed a supermarket department, filling shelves may seem like nothing. However, I can verify that an excellent manager of night filling is worth more than double their weight in gold. I’ve had nightfill managers who are completely incompetent and I’ve had nightfill managers who continue to amaze me with what they can achieve with limited resources.

When it comes to getting competent migrant manager’s visas renewed, that is where the nightmare begins. I have to advertise with WINZ, newspapers, the internal company job list just to hold on to the competent manager I already have. Usually, if I get any applicants at all, they will be from other migrants with little time left on their visas. It is rare that a New Zealand citizen will apply and even rarer that they will actually be suitable.

Tight immigration work laws are strangling basic industries in New Zealand because government policy dictates a racist and xenophobic mantra that I must do everything I can to hire a New Zealand citizen before I can consider advocating for a competent immigrant to have their visa renewed. Often my preferred candidate is the only person who has applied. Immigration still expects me to prove I have interviewed others.

I despise the racism that current immigration law dictates. I want to hire the best person for the job and I dont care what their ethnic origins are. Considering all the time I must waste dealing with racist bureaucrats so I can employ the person I want, I shudder to think how many millions of dollars are wasted dealing with immigration laws.

Every individual, whatever their ethnic origin deserves the same opportunity as anyone else to make the best out of their life they possibly can. Surely, in New Zealand 2014, this is no longer a controversial position?

Contradictions and Misrepresentations from the Conservative Party 002 2014

Conservative Pamphlet - 002 2014


Conservative Statement

The problem with this statement


It would be nice if we could trust politicians

The Conservative party are politicians.  Are they saying we cannot trust them?


Leaders should ideally be people who make promises that they keep….

Ideally yes – but MMP is a system that requires compromises – so all promises might not be possible.


But our leaders aren’t the people we would always like them to be.

Including Colin Craig?


John Key … promised to change it “if good parents got prosecuted” hasn’t done anything despite 8 prosecutions for a light smack and hundreds of good parents now being investigated.

So 8 prosecutions is a catastrophe for which we should change the constitution?


Child abuse has continued to rise regardless of the law and has, in fact, increased by 32% since the anti-smacking law was introduced.

No consideration that this could be a higher incidence of reporting.


Police resources have been tied up investigating good parents (hundreds of investigations at an average of two per week).

Does Craig know about the full background of all these cases and the family circumstances?  They are all “good parents”?


Good parents have been harassed by investigations, suffered the removal of children to temporary care, been denied custody, and in some cases have been prosecuted.

All “good parents”?  All harassed? – where are the complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCA)?


The public response to this bad law was a referendum.

You only need 10% of the registered voters to request a citizens initiated referendum – so “a section of the public requested a referendum”


87.5% of voters said change the law.

Voter turnout was only 56.1% - so not 87.5% of all voters – so 49%


Overwhelmingly we, the people of this wonderful nation, got it right.

“got it right” means “agreed with Craig” in his head.  Note less than 5% of the electorate want to vote for him now.


We told the politicians to change the law … but nothing happened.



The situation continues to get worse…

Evidence of this?


…Police resources continue to be mis-directed …

Is Colin calling the professionalism of the national Police force into question?


… parents and children continue to suffer.

Children continue to suffer from domestic violence? – yes they do.  Again where are the complaints to the IPCA from the parents?


There are different ways to ensure accountability in a democracy.

Elections being one way. Colin’s crazy ideas have not got elected yet.


Right of recall, an upper house, and binding referendum are all possibilities …

And on what basis were binding referendum selected as the best option? In many ways it is the most risky one.


We will change it so that the mistakes of politicians can be corrected.

What if a so called “mistake” is a “considered view after seeking the advice of experts”


We will change it so that politicians cannot continue to arrogantly disregard the will of the people.

Colin wants a change to the constitution that will make the country ungovernable like California.


Our bottom line is very simple:

If they get elected then with 5% of the vote their bottom line is a change to the New Zealand constitution!


If there is a public referendum on any issue and 67% or more of the vote supports the proposal then it must become law.

So the 49% of the population who voted for the repeal of the anti-smacking law would not pass this threshold if a general election turnout of more than 73% occurred! So Colin’s supporters will not even get what they want if the law was passed.


One Law for All

Long standing ACT policy


The first $20,000 tax free

A $6.4 billion hole in the government budget that will require spending to be cut on Super, Education and Health.


It is time we had a smaller more efficient government.

We can agree with that.


We can start by reducing the number of politicians … to 99 MPs

ACT policy is 100


We need a smaller number of MPs … rather than 120overpaid MPs…

So we expect the Conservative party to announce pre-election that they will be not accepting or donating a substantial portion of MPs’ salaries.


… who are either not present in the debating chambers ….

There is only one debating chamber Colin.  We look forward to a promise of 100% attendance.


…. or spend most of their time twittering whilst pretending to run this country at our expense.

A promise required that no MPs will use modern technology required. 
Also – if Colin believes that the MPs are ‘pretending to run the country” – then who does he think is actually running the country? The aliens?


<nothing …. blank …. silent>

This row represents the lack of any reference to $6.4 billion of spending cuts anywhere in Colin’s policies.


Supporting strong and stable families is the cornerstone for building and maintaining a healthy and prosperous society for now and the future.

Any divorced people should apply for their passport and prepare to leave the country – you are not part of Colin’s prosperous future.


This is why the Conservative Party stands for traditional family values, for the physical and psychological protection and safety of our children and families for supporting and enabling Kiwi mums and dads to properly discipline and lovingly raise their children without government interference.

Non-traditional families should also prepare to leave the country.
“Properly discipline” is not really defined – but we note that Colin is only proposing to allow “a light smack on the bottom”. Will that satisfy the expectations he has raised in his constituency?


Justice – the protection of our women and children must come before any perceived rights of those who choose to sexually abuse or assault our most vulnerable.

This problem has already been solved by ACT’s three strikes for violent offences.  The sensible Sentencing Trust audited the figures and found that to the end of 2013 3,721 offenders had been convicted of First Strike violent crimes, but only 29 of second strike offences – with no-one on third strikes.


This election a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to get tough on offenders. 

It is a wasted vote if the Conservatives do not reach 5%.  Zero MPs.


It is a chance to make justice about putting it right for the victims.

ACT is focussed on Crime and will be represented in Parliament because we will win Epsom. 

Every vote for ACT will count. 

Vote your values – Party vote ACT.


The left is wrong: poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising

"A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the child poverty rate has been declining for nearly 20 years, falling from 35% in 1994 to 16% in 2007 and recently returning to pre-global financial crisis levels in 2012” said Dr Whyte.

“Those who advocate socialism have exploited the public’s concern about a rising number of people being trapped into a cycle of dependency.  The Left’s repeated claims that New Zealand is getting more unequal are simply false and divert attention from policies that would help people out of dependency.

“Prior to the recent recession, there were 15 years of steady growth in median household incomes driven, in part, by the steady increase in the number of two-parent households where both parents are in paid employment (3% pa).

Figure 1: Real household income trends before housing costs (BHC) and after housing costs (AHC), 1982 to 2013 ($2013)


Source: Bryan Perry, Household incomes in New Zealand: Trends in indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2013. Ministry of Social Development (July 2014).


“The net income gains from the mid-1990s to 2013 were similar for all income groups, so income inequality in 2013 was also similar to the mid-1990s” said Dr Whyte.

Figure 2: Real household incomes (BHC), changes for top of income deciles, 1994 to 2013


Source: (Perry 2014).


“The Gini coefficient – the most common measure of inequality – shows no evidence of a rise in income inequality since the mid-1990s. The trend-line is almost flat.

Figure 3: Gini coefficient New Zealand 1980-2015

Source: (Perry 2014).


“The Top 1% of income earners in New Zealand earn such a modest share of total earnings that the Occupy movement is left with nothing to protest about. The incomes of NZ’s top 1% of earners make up 8-9% of total incomes, as they have since the mid-1990s. It was only in the USA were the share of the top 1% continued to rise strongly, from 13% to 19%. New Zealand’s top 1% is performing so poorly that even the Swedish top 1% is set to overtake it”, said Dr Whyte


Figure 4: Top 1% income shares, USA, New Zealand and Sweden, 1970-2012


Source: The World Top Income Database at


“Reducing inequality would not help to reduce poverty.  The causes of poverty are complex but failure to get an education is one.  Our one-size-fits-all education system has failed children from deprived homes for many years.  Charter schools have successfully lifted educational achievement for children in poverty in many countries. Yet the political left is against this ladder,” said Dr Whyte.

“Who doubts that if New Zealand had its own Bill Gates, the country would be both more unequal and more prosperous?  We need policies that encourage hard work, enterprise and success. ACT is the only party advocating such policies.

 “The last time there was a significant increase in income inequality was in the early 1990s and this spike in inequality was immediately followed by a 15 year long economic boom” said Dr Whyte.