Act Party

ACT announces Party List to contest 2014 election

The ACT Party is proud to announce its List for the 2014 election today.

“This list represents all the best elements of the ACT Party,” says ACT President John Thompson. “It blends young talent and experienced leaders, all outstanding in their fields of expertise and all sharing ACT’s vision of a free and prosperous New Zealand.

“Our team is looking forward to campaigning across New Zealand on our key messages of low flat tax, cutting green tape, getting tough on crime, and ‘one country, one law,” says ACT Leader Jamie Whyte.

The list is led by Dr Whyte and Deputy Leader Kenneth Wang. They are followed by Northland business owner and orchardist Robin Grieve, Rodney Local Board Member Beth Houlbrooke, former Federated Farmers President Don Nicolson, and retail manager and former Auckland mayoral candidate Stephen Berry.

Notable in his absence is ACT’s Epsom candidate David Seymour, who is focusing his energy solely on Epsom.

“David is determined to be the MP for Epsom, and indeed the best MP Epsom has ever had, and we know he can do it,” says Mr Thompson.

“This means, rather than needing to clear the five percent threshold, every single party vote for ACT will count. And in an election that could be decided by just a couple of MPs, ACT could be the difference between a National or Labour-led Government – just as we were in 2011.”

The top 20 list placings are:

1. Dr Jamie Whyte
2. Kenneth Wang
3. Robin Grieve
4. Beth Houlbrooke
5. Don Nicolson
6. Stephen Berry
7. Dasha Kovalenko
8. Gareth Veale
9. Ian Cummings
10. Sara Muti
11. Toni Severin
12. Phelan Pirrie
13. Stephen Fletcher
14. David Olsen
15. Nick Kearney
16. Sean Fitzpatrick
17. Richard Evans
18. Michael Milne
19. Dr Ron Smith
20. Tim Kronfeld

Selected candidate profiles:

Robin Grieve
Own and operates a consultancy and training business and an avocado orchard in Whangarei
Represented New Zealand three times in toastmaster competitions
ACT candidate for Whangarei, Chair of ACT’s Policy and Law and Order Committees

Beth Houlbrooke
Elected member of the Rodney Local Board
Served as coordinator of a businesswomen’s network, chairperson of a school board of trustees, and a kindergarten president
ACT candidate for Rodney and Vice President

Don Nicolson
President of Federated Farmers 2008-2011
Owns and operates 212 hectare farm near Invercargill
ACT candidate for Clutha-Southland

Stephen Berry
Retail manager for Countdown
Finished third in last year’s Auckland mayoral election
ACT candidate for Upper Harbour


Government Needs to Rein in Councils

Government Needs to Rein in Councils
Press Release: Stephen Berry, ACT Candidate for Upper Harbour

ACT Upper Harbour candidate Stephen Berry says the Government needs to take urgent action to rein in Council spending across the country. “The power of general competence granted to local councils in 2002 is leading to widespread incompetence with ratepayer dollars. This blatant waste is only too obvious at Auckland Council.”

Many are quick to blame the formation of the Super City for the financial mess Auckland Council has got itself into but Mr. Berry does not share this view. “The first people to blame the council amalgamation are the politicians engaged in the wildly irresponsible spending. Had Len Brown focused on properly funding the basics instead of egotistical legacy projects like the City Rail Loop, the Council would not be in the position it is now.”

“Auckland Council borrowed $1.2 billion in the last financial year. The interest the Council pays on its debt is over $1 million a day. Suggestions the Council needs to cut spending by $280 million a year will not even come halfway to solving the problem.”

Proposals for cutting spending which have been floated in the media this week include slashing library operating hours and reducing parks maintenance budgets to achieve this target. Stephen Berry responds, “Mayor Brown and his spin doctors are playing a sneaky and deceptive game. They’re putting forward options for spending cuts on popular services so they can soften up Auckland residents for greater rates increases. There is still no mention of cutting the City Rail Loop which is clearly the first place the Council should start.”

ACT has previously introduced legislation into Parliament that would limit Council rates increases to the level of inflation each year. “Unsurprisingly this was blocked by the parties of the left. New Zealand First also conveniently forgot about its usual target market of retirees, many of whom live in their own homes, struggling to pay increasing rates on a limited pension.” Berry says, “I would like to see such legislation re-introduced to Parliament following the 2014 election, in addition to reforming the Local Government Act so councils are limited to only basic functions determined by central government.”

Stephen Berry was the third placed candidate for Mayor of Auckland in the 2013 election and campaigned on a platform of reductions in rates, spending and borrowing. However this time around he is not seeking votes for himself. “Aside from making submissions on the Council’s 10 year plan, the most powerful thing Auckland residents can do to restrict the excesses of Mayor Brown is to cast their party vote for ACT.”

Corporate Welfare: Interview with Jamie Whyte on The Nation

New Zealand could save billions by ending corporate welfare. Jamie Whyte appeared on The Nation this weekend to talk about why taxpayers shouldn't be forced to invest in businesses via government subsidies.

Click here to watch the video.

ACT Party leader wins prestigious writing award

ACT Party leader wins prestigious writing award

​​The ACT Party congratulates its leader, Jamie Whyte, on winning the prestigious Institute of Economic Affairs’ Seldon Award this week.

The Seldon Award for Excellence, named after the first Editorial Director Arthur Seldon, is given to the author who has produced the best piece of writing for the IEA over the past two years.

Dr Whyte’s winning publication, entitled Quack Policy – Abusing Science in the Cause of Paternalism, examines the problems that arise when politicians pursue ‘evidence-based’ policies that are, almost always, based on poor science and against the wishes of the public.

“ACT is very pleased for Jamie,” says ACT President John Thompson. “Jamie is a fantastic writer who articulates ACT’s values better than anyone; indeed, he was doing so long before becoming an ACT member.”

“No other New Zealand political party can boast a leader whose thoughts are published regularly in the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The Times. This award is a fantastic achievement, we’re proud it was won by a Kiwi – and we’re even more proud it was won by Jamie,” says Mr Thompson.

Quack Policy – Abusing Science in the Cause of Paternalism can be downloaded free of charge from the IEA website.


About the IEA

The Institute of Economic Affairs is the UK’s original free market think tank, founded in 1955. Its mission is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The Institute is entirely independent of any political party or group, and is entirely funded by voluntary donations from individuals, companies and foundations who want to support its work. For more information, go to




What are ACT's policies and what do they mean?

If you’re working hard, shouldn’t you be able to spend your money as you wish? At the moment, the government is in the driver’s seat and we’re being taken for a ride.

ACT’s policies keep it simple: less government, more you.

We’ve taken to National’s budget with a fine-toothed comb and found $4 billion in wasteful spending. We’re the only party that’s produced a fully costed alternative budget.

ACT’s budget promotes growth, prosperity and fairness. Official figures show we can lift growth to 5 percent in just 15 years, doubling New Zealand’s GDP, without reducing spending for health, education and welfare.

ACT would make life easier for businesses by axing the company tax rate to 20 percent. We would make life harder for burglars with our Three Strikes policy.

Our budget would cut the amount of red tape strangling our economy – and that means more job opportunities, better wages and a higher standard of living across the board.

We’re also the only party with policies that could close the income gap between Australia and New Zealand. There are still too many talented kiwis crossing the ditch to make their fortune; we want to make it easier for you to do that here at home.

We want high, long-term economic growth, rather than just transferring money from one group to another. That, perhaps, is the biggest difference between ACT and every other party.

Read more on our website about how our policies help give you the freedom to choose the future you want.

What you get if you support ACT

ACT wants a progressive, vibrant New Zealand where individual choice, responsibility and excellence are the norm.  Do you want to live in a thriving country where you’re rewarded for your efforts, taxation is low and personal accountability is high? A vote for ACT can make it happen.

First, let’s get a handle on red tape and regulation. Sluggish policy equals economic stagnation. If New Zealand is to grow a stronger economy and a global reputation as a nation of opportunity, a review of asset ownership, state expenditure, the tax structure and the regulatory environment is a must.

Feel like it’s time the government took its hand out of your pocket? ACT wants a country where government expenditure doesn’t exceed 28 per cent of GDP and the top tax rate is capped at 24 cents in the dollar. Easing building regulations is a no-brainer if we want affordable housing and to boost business activity.

Let’s face it, you want to know where your tax dollars are going, right? ACT advocates greater transparency and contestability in the public sector so our education and health systems are not only world-leading, but are cost-efficient.

And last but not least, it’s about time we made it impossible to have a career in serious crime. Everybody has either been burgled at some point or knows someone who has. ACT’s Three Strikes Policy sentences offenders to a minimum non-parole period of three years for their third conviction. Our Three Strikes for violent offenders has worked. This will too.

Just to recap – stick with ACT and you’ll see how hard work leads to economic growth and positive change.

ACT is for high economic growth, free enterprise and safe homes. Help us make this future a reality by joining, volunteering or donating to ACT today.

How Worthwhile is Your Election Vote?

While 90 percent of voters think National will win this year’s election, it’s actually statistically possible for the “coalition of the unwilling”, Labour/Greens/NZ1/Mana-Internet parties to take power (Richard Prebble, The Letter, 28 April 2014). So voting in this year’s election is not only worthwhile, it’s essential if you want to have the freedom to achieve, be successful and get rewarded for it.

ACT is striving for lower taxes, less red tape and a focus on personal responsibility. A country where people make their own choices and get rewarded for hard work rather than have it taxed away.

Voting is one way to do just that – to take responsibility and make a choice. So choose ACT and you’ll be voting for a government that helps you build thriving families, businesses and lives.

If you sidestepped the polls at the last election in 2011, you were not alone. A quarter of Kiwis didn’t vote. That’s a decent chunk of the population who effectively don’t care enough about the future of New Zealand. Now, we’re not here to lecture you about voting but it’s important to put your hand up and be counted (otherwise you can’t complain right?).

ACT supports a government that allows people to build prosperous lives.  A government that enhances living standards through sustainable economic growth and international competitiveness, and ensures all New Zealanders have access to world-class health, education and defence. We promote the introduction of the Three Strikes for Burglary policy and a climate change policy that focuses on mitigation and adaption not rolls of red tape – among other policies you can read about on our website.

Nearly everything our opponents stand for - higher taxes, more government interventions, and more welfare - are policies that can stop you taking charge of your own life and becoming successful now and in the future.

Read our policies to find out how voting for us supports a solid, prosperous New Zealand but shop around so you can see what will happen if you don’t. 

What Does ACT Stand For?

It comes down to these three words: Freedom to Achieve. ACT is the party that drives achievement through: freedom, choice and responsibility.

Your efforts should make a difference!

We want to see an open, progressive and dynamic New Zealand that encourages individual choice, responsibility and excellence.

Each and every New Zealander is the rightful owner of their own lives and has fundamental rights and responsibilities. It’s up to the government to protect these rights but not to assume such responsibilities.

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 equal, prosperous and vibrant society.

Nearly everything our opponents stand for - higher taxes, more government interventions, and more welfare - are policies that erode a person’s ability to take charge of their own life and make a difference.

ACT believes in rewarding hard work, not taxing it away.

With stable, disciplined leadership, we can create the right conditions for people to reach their full potential and build successful families, businesses and lives.

We are striving to provide New Zealanders with more opportunities to achieve through:


  • New Zealanders want a more open, prosperous and dynamic society to live in. We will clearly define the government’s role to achieve these outcomes.
  • Red tape is holding NZ businesses back. We will push for urgent action to remove the regulatory burden placed on Kiwi business owners.
  • You don’t want your hard earned income taxed away. We will fight for a lower rate of income tax. Tax can be lowered and still provide support for those who need it, law and order and defence.  


  • Kiwis want their children to achieve. You should be able to choose how your children are educated. We will drive education towards a bright future, providing you with more choice in primary and secondary education.
  • Victims of crimes do not currently have many choices. We believe in rehabilitation for those who have committed crimes but victims must come first.
  • We know that New Zealand loses talent to overseas markets. We need to provide our achievers with more opportunities so that NZ is an attractive option.      


  • New Zealanders know how to build a progressive country, so let's make it happen. The current government’s plan to move welfare away from an open-ended system people rely on is a step in the right direction, but we will build on this.
  • We know you are frustrated by hospital productivity and health services. We will push for transparency, accountability and greater funding contestability.
  • Kiwis have a vision of a free society so we will seek to remove all race-based appointments throughout government. Representatives should be appointed to drive achievement for all New Zealanders.

Let's work together to make our country truly great. Let's build a society that provides us with the freedom to achieve.

Find out more about our policies, principles and how to get in touch.