Chris Simmons

ACT Annual Conference 2013 - Important Update

ACT Conference 2013 – Friday 22- Sunday  24 February

With only one week to go until the ACT Party Conference on 23 February at the Gibbs Farm in Kaukapakapa, the conference program has been upgraded and extended until Sunday lunchtime.

The theme of the Conference is “Rejuvenation”

You will be treated to an excellent line-up of speakers and will also have the opportunity to state your views in the breakout sessions.

Friday 22 Feb: Party Office, 27 Gillies Ave, Newmarket

5.15pm: AGM, ACT on Campus report, National Council meeting
7.00pm: Informal Dinner at Dee Jai Restaurant, Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket  (This is optional. Please make your own reservation by emailing if you wish to attend)

Saturday 23 Feb: Gibbs Farm, Kaukapakapa
MC: Jim Hopkins

10.30am    Welcome and Housekeeping
10.40am    Alan Gibbs
11.10am    Rodney Hide
11.35am    Cameron Brewer
11.50am    Break
12.05pm    Keynote Speaker: Jamie Whyte Head of Research and Publishing at
                the management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, a fellow of the          
                Institute of Economic Affairs and a senior fellow of the Adam Smith
12.30pm    Presenting of the Robin Clulee Award
12.35pm    Keynote Speaker: Hon John Boscawen,Presidential Address
Incoming ACT President, Former ACT MP, Minister of Consumer Affairs
                and Associate Minister of Commerce
1.00pm      Lunch
2.15pm      Keynote Speaker: Hon John Banks
Leader, ACT New Zealand, Former Mayor of Auckland
2.40pm      Catherine Isaac - Partnership Schools Report
2.50pm      Break
3.00pm      Workshops:
                      Dr Eric Crampton   - Current Economic Nonsense                          
                                                  - Civil Liberties
                      Catherine Isaac - Partnership Schools
                      Chris Simmons  - Party Marketing

4.25pm Conference Closing - Kenneth Wang

8pm Dinner: at Nuffield St Café, Nuffield St, Newmarket, Auckland (This is optional. Please email  if you would like to attend)

Sunday 24 Feb: Barrycourt, 20 Gladstone Road, Parnell

We will be hosting our first Sunday Policy Forum. Our main speaker will be:

10am: Roger Beattie - Conservation and the environment.
Roger Beattie, a self-described free market Greenie, challenge to ACT to promote environment and social policies that work in    harmony with economic freedom and growth.

Roger’s own experience in business and conservation is worth listening to.

He promotes a bold and practical approach to environmental problems.

11am: Constitutional Review - What is going to happen to our constitution?

Alex Penk, Acting Communications Manager of Maxim Institute, will discuss all aspects of the constitutional review, which has been initiated by the National and Maori Parties.

Alex will make some comments about the particular matters covered by the Review, the process of the Review and the process of constitutional change – hopes, fears, predictions, etc.

He will also address the most controversial aspect- the place of the Treaty in a written constitution.

Inserting the principles of the Treaty and the “partnership” principle in a written constitution would be a huge step into unknown constitutional waters and would have huge consequences for the future governance of New Zealand.

There will be an opportunity for people to have input on the Party's future planning.

Administrative matters

Transport to the Gibbs Farm (Saturday)
There will be transport leaving at 8.30am SHARP from the ACT office in Gillies Ave, Newmarket. This is for those who don’t want to take their car to the farm.
For those who want to drive there is plenty of parking. You will need to park near the entrance to the Farm.
It is a very pleasant walk across the Farm to the Barn where the conference is being held. There will be some car shuttles to take the less mobile to the Barn.

Directions to “The farm” from Auckland

You will need to allow for a car journey of approximately 50 minutes from the central city. 

Follow State Highway 1, over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, north towards Whangarei.  Take the Silverdale off ramp and turn left at the round-a-bout towards Dairy Flat.

Continue for 5 minutes until you reach Dairy Flat, and take the road on the right before the Caltex service station.  The name of this road is Kahikatea Flat Road.  The sign will read Kaukapakapa / Helensville.

Continue for another 10 minutes or so until you see another service station on your left, bear left there and continue to the end of the road where you will reach a T junction.  You will see a large boulder mounted on State highway 16 in the centre of the road, turn right in the direction of Kaukapakapa.

This road winds north around the southern edge of the Kaipara Harbour, through Kaukapakapa village.  From the point you cross the railway tracks located near the service station on the left.

Drive 13 km a long state highway 16 and you will reach the entrance a little past the Barr Rd turn off.

For a printable version of these instructions, please see attachment at the bottom of this post.

The Farm
Maps of the Farm show where all the sculptures are sited.
Water is for sale at the registration desk near the Barn.
Please note cellphone coverage is patchy or non-existent on parts of the Farm.
The gates will close at 5.45pm

Food and refreshments
Coffee, water and tea will be available at the Farm all day Saturday. This is included in your registration fee.
You can order lunch or bring your own.

Lunch is now included in the registration fee, but you must indicate that you would like lunch provided.
Please complete the registration online or the form that is available from the Party Office:
Ph: 09 523-0470 ASAP

Friday and Saturday night dinners in Newmarket
If you want to attend either or both of the dinners (Friday and Saturday) please email to let us know who will be attending.
You will need to pay for dinner on the night at the restaurant.

The conference at the Farm is open to everyone
ACT has always run open conferences. You can bring friends and colleagues to enjoy the experience of the Farm and part, or all, of the Conference. It’s entirely up to you. However, no registrations will be accepted on the farm.

Time is running out – please register now.

You can register up until Friday 22 February 7.30pm online or at the ACT Office, 27 Gillies Ave, Newmarket.

Go to or phone 09 5230470 or email for further forms to be mailed to you.  You can also print your own forms via the link to a PDF document at the bottom of this page. 

Accommodation for those coming from outside of Auckland
Contact: Tudor Court Motor Lodge, 108 Great South Rd, Epsom.
Phone: 09 523 1069
Mention you are attending the ACT Conference.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Chris Simmons
President, ACT New Zealand


New Board Members Announced

Dear Members and Supporters,

Last week, the ACT Party was pleased to announce the election of Hon John Boscawen to the position of Party President.  

John has done so much for the party over the years and continues to show his passion and belief in ACT by making this latest commitment.

This week, I am pleased to announce a number of changes to the Board.  All of the new Board Members were elected unopposed and I believe they will make a great contribution to the Party.

The new Board Members are:

Auckland South:  John Thompson

Waikato Bay of Plenty: Bonnie Leonard

Wellington: Sashi Meanger

Upper South: Gareth Veale

The new Deputy Board Members are:

Auckland North: Robin Grieve

Scenic South: Colin Nicols

Over the past 12 months, the outgoing Board created the foundations for our party’s future, a solid game-plan of action that will ensure ACT is seen as the only party that will give New Zealanders the freedom to achieve.  I would like to thank the outgoing board members for the contributions they have made during their term. 

Under John Boscawen's leadership, the new Board of ACT will bring the game plan to life and ensure that the party is back with solid representation in 2014.

I am sure you will join me in wishing the new board every success in their activities.  I encourage you to do all you can to support them as the party rises to meet the challenges ahead.

Best regards,

Chris Simmons
President, ACT New Zealand


P.S.      Don’t forget to register for ACT’s Annual Conference Feb 22nd & 23rd 2013.  The discount for early registration ends Feb 10th 2013.





ACT Mourns Loss Of Former Party President Michael Crozier

The ACT Party was today deeply saddened by the news that former ACT Party President Michael Crozier has passed away.

“Michael lived a full life with many fine adventures, and he died peacefully at home on Saturday, July 21 2012, with his family by his side,” ACT Party President Chris Simmons said.

“Michael grew up in Christchurch and completed a PhD in Physics before going on to work in the US, and the UK.  He moved back to New Zealand where he eventually became Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Defence.

“Michael joined ACT in 1996 and held numerous roles, including Chair in the North Shore Electorate, Regional Chair on the ACT Board, and Deputy President, before he stepped up to the role of Party President in 2009 - retiring in 2010.  In all this, his partner June Toose and his family gave him invaluable support.

"Politically, Michael believed that people are happiest if they can make the most of their potential; and that, by a happy coincidence, our country performs best if everyone contributes as much as they are able.

“Out of his great intelligence and kind heart he aimed to help others to be the best they could be.  Michael will be sorely missed,” Mr Simmons said.

A non-theistic service will be held at St-Matthews-in-the-City, corner of Hobson and Wellesley Street, Auckland on 26 July 2012 at 1.00pm to celebrate his life.

No flowers please; donations to St John Northern Region, Private Bag 14902, Panmure, Auckland 1741.


Performance Based Pay for Teachers Long Overdue

ACT New Zealand today welcomed Education Minister Hekia Parata’s serious consideration of performance based pay for teachers, which is best practice in industries all around the world and is long overdue in the education sector.

“Quality education is an important stepping stone to higher wages, better job prospects and a successful economy.  We should be focused on keeping the best teachers in classrooms and in front of students.  Devolving salary decisions to Boards and Principals, who could then pay their best teachers more, is a logical step to achieving this,” says ACT Party President Chris Simmons.  

 “Under the current system, many good teachers move away from the classroom and into management roles as this is the only way that they can get a higher wage.

“The incentives are wrong and it is students that suffer - approximately 20 per cent of students leave school every year without basic literacy and numeracy skills.

“In Australia, the Labor Government has recently established performance based pay bonuses with the first payments to teachers expected in 2014.

“For too long we have thrown money at the education sector without any substantial increases in student achievement - per student funding increased at over twice the rate of inflation over the last decade.  More money is clearly not the answer. The system must change.   

“The current Government has initiated a number of new education policies aimed at lifting achievement rates for students.  We hope performance based pay with decision-making at the Board and Principal level becomes yet another long-championed ACT policy that the Government adopts,” Mr Simmons said.