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 fairer, more 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!

Constitution

ACT supports changing the way that electorates are defined and reforming election law - 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.

Environment

ACT supports selling Landcorp and putting the proceeds into a Sanctuary Trust for applicants who wish to operate inland sanctuaries for native wildlife.

“Landcorp is a business the Government should never have owned and which is responsible for considerable dairy conversion and deforestation.

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.

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.

Tertiary Education

Our universities, polytechnics and colleges of education are currently unable to respond effectively to student and employer demands for high quality education at a competitive cost. Government caps on fees that can be charged and numbers of students able to be enrolled at any given institution reduce competition and ultimately the efficiency of our tertiary education sector.  As a result, our universities have slid down the international rankings in recent years, with our top performer, the University of Auckland, having dropped to 82nd this year from 46th only five years ago.

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.