Policies

We’re striving for a progressive, vibrant New Zealand that encourages individual choice, responsibility and excellence. A nation with a strong economy where hard work is rewarded, not taxed away.

We believe the current role of government is far too large and should be limited on a principled basis. Clearly defining the government’s function would achieve the outcomes New Zealanders desire - a more fair, prosperous and dynamic society.

Our policies are designed to create the right conditions for people to reach their full potential and build successful families, businesses, and lives.
Your efforts should make a difference!

ACC

The one-size-fits-all compulsory, government-owned monopoly insurance provider is failing New Zealanders. ACT believes a competitive market would ensure a fair, efficient personal injury claim system that delivers results and provides consistent, adequate cover to those who need it. 

Constitution

ACT supports decreasing the size of Parliament and changing the way that electorates are defined. Election law needs to be reformed - especially around the broadcasting rules.

The role of the Treaty of Waitangi should be restricted to the text and we also support enhancing the Bill of Rights to cover property rights

Crime and Justice

While we support rehabilitation for those who have committed crimes, victims must come first. ACT supports tough, appropriate sentencing for all offences including burglary (three strikes you’re out), livestock theft (weapon and vehicle confiscation) and murder (sentenced by degree). 

Economy and Taxation

Long run growth of the New Zealand economy has been slow, damaging our position in the global talent market and forcing Kiwis offshore. We’re calling for a review of government asset ownership, expenditure, taxes and the regulatory environment. Our goal is for government expenditure to drop below 28 per cent of GDP, with a top income tax rate of 24 cents.

Education: School and Pre-school

We seek more innovation and choice in primary and secondary education. The government is currently failing parents and children with services that fall short. We believe in separating the property ownership role of the Ministry of Education from the operations role, giving Boards of Trustees sole governorship. The Early Childhood system, which operates on a market-like basis, should be a model for the whole sector.

Education: Tertiary

ACT believes that the government’s role in funding education has become poorly focussed leading to inefficient outcomes.  Students have been given a greater range of educational choice, which is to be applauded, but mollification of the funding formula has meant that too much of what the government spends on tertiary education is either poorly allocated or leaks from the country when graduates depart.

Emissions Trading Scheme and Global Warming

New Zealand’s stated position has been that it would be a ‘fast follower’ in the global effort to reduce emissions.  In the event, few other nations have made significant efforts to reduce their emissions and yet New Zealand has become more of a leader than a follower by introducing the world’s only all all-sectors, all-gases scheme. 

Employment

The Employment Relations Act is a heavy cost on business and is preventing job creation.  ACT will extend the probationary period to a year and abolish reinstatement as a remedy.

Energy

ACT believes the government should not own electricity generators and should relax regulatory restrictions on the building of new facilities. We are open to the exploration and extraction of coal and oil to generate revenue and business activity, and lower local prices.

Environment and Conservation

New Zealand’s valuable environment faces real threats but there’s currently too much red tape to effectively protect it. ACT believes it would be better managed with fewer and clearer regulations, and stronger property rights.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

The government first and most important task is to defend the nation, its people and their property.  Foreign Affairs and Trade are also areas where government has a unique ability to achieve a vital outcome. 

Health

Competition and choice in health care are being suppressed and hospital productivity has declined leaving patients frustrated. We believe the government should be transparent about the service levels it will provide and introduce greater funding contestability.

Honesty for Taxpayers

Taxpayers fund the government’s activities. ACT believes that taxpayers should know the price of any new policy that the national government or a local council is considering in a metric that is relevant to them. To this end, ACT proposes an Honesty for Taxpayers policy.

Housing

Land use restrictions are making it near impossible for New Zealanders to own their own home. We advocate repealing the Resource Management ACT and revising the Local Government Acts to avoid “symptom-treating” remedies such as subsidies to home buyers, taxes aimed at reducing demand, and greater direct government participation in the housing market.

Immigration

ACT is and always has been the pro-immigration party.  To ensure all New Zealanders benefit, we need to maintain the points system for immigrants, ensure they have ready access to work but not easy access to welfare, and lower the tax burden to attract the best immigrants.

Local Government

ACT will reduce the rates burden on households and businesses and lower the costs  by repealing the RMA and replacing it with a property based regime (see RMA).  Remove the power of general competence and limit increases in local authority spending to inflation plus population growth unless the local authority can obtain the prior approval of a majority of voters in that jurisdiction. Remove the requirement for the Auckland Council to have a Maori Statutory Board. Ensure that roads and piped water are supplied on a fully commercial basis .

Primary Industry

With the majority of New Zealand’s overseas earnings derived from the Primary sector, ACT observes that over time expansionary governments have applied more costly legislation to each unit of production – costs that are unrecoverable from any marketplace. 

ACT knows that to be competitive, adaptable and resilient to evolving consumption trends, the primary sector needs much less government legislated impediment in production, processing, marketing and distribution.

Red Tape and Regulation

Urgent action is needed to relieve the regulatory burden placed on New Zealanders and their businesses. ACT promotes a robust law-making process (the Regulatory Responsibility Bill) to produce predictable and sensible regulation. 

Resource Management Act

We believe the Resource Management Act is a lost cause and no manner of amendments will fix it. We want to set up an expert taskforce to determine exactly what specific measures relating to public goods, such as flood control, border protection and problems of non-point source pollution, are needed.

Roads

Roads are one of the most important infrastructural assets in New Zealand but regulatory limitations and poor funding models are restricting improvements. We believe that charging drivers for road use would increase efficiency, create more direct price signals for building additional roads, and provide revenue for public-private partnerships.

Superannuation

ACT believes that retirement is a predictable expense for which the vast majority of citizens are able to save independently, given clear signals about what the government will and will not be providing.  Under the Status quo, superannuation is an enormous fiscal cost that is subject to political manipulation.

Treaty of Waitangi and Race Relations

ACT supports the vision of a free society and would seek to remove all race-based appointments in parliament or any other branch of government. We would work towards ensuring the Waitangi Tribunal process ends on the basis of full, fair, and final settlements.

Water

ACT believes fresh water is a valuable resource.  Before measures are taken we need more research.  The best way to manage a scarce resource is with tradable permits. 

Welfare and Family

We support the current government’s initiatives to shift welfare from an open-ended system people rely on, to one of mutual obligation. ACT would continue this process by reducing effective marginal tax rates for those moving from welfare to work, outsourcing rehabilitation to private providers, putting lifetime limits on the Job Seeker Benefit and Sole Parent Support, cracking down on benefit fraud, and scrapping the minimum wage.