ACT’s 2024 rally Change Makers is this Sunday. The seats are nearly sold out. Join Brooke van Velden, Nicole McKee, Karen Chhour, Andrew Hoggard, Paul Henry, David Seymour, and ACT’s team at the party’s largest annual event. Please get your tickets for Change Makers this Sunday, June 9, in Auckland. We hope to see you there.


This week ACT Leader David Seymour will be Acting Prime Minister. As long-time unconditional supporters of Seymour, we at Free Press are quietly chuffed. We read nothing into the fact Seymour’s partner has left the country for the week he’s in charge.

It got us thinking. What if we didn’t have an ACTing Prime Minister but an ACT Prime Minister? This week Free Press surveys New Zealand’s potential and how the country would be closer to it under ACT, but also how much is currently being done.

At base, Kiwis are a diverse people with one thing in common, ambition. We’ve all crossed wide seas for a better tomorrow, at some point in our family history. Diversity and ambition combined show us the key to our future. Whatever challenges our country faces, we will overcome them together when each of us can flourish in our own way.

That means less government spending, so more of each person’s income can be used for purposes they choose. It means less regulation, so that more of each person’s time is used for purposes they choose. It means less crime, so what the IRD leaves is not taken by someone else. It means ending identity politics, so that what someone does matters more than how they are born.

This prescription of allowing each person to flourish in their own way would mean a Government more confidently stating basic truths, and acting on them. The government spends too much, we are over regulated, criminals deserve tougher consequences, and our universal humanity trumps any differences that divide us.

The Okay Budget would be more than okay. According to the Taxpayers’ Union (Atlas™) poll, 48 per cent of New Zealanders said the Government’s Budget was “okay,” leaving about a quarter each side saying it is good or bad. In many ways that is a very good result. Seventy-six per cent said the budget is ok, good, or very good. The Māori Party can be reassured there is no revolution here.

An ACT Budget would save about $6 billion a year more. Whole departments that don’t actually deliver a service but engage in Wellington politics on behalf of demographic group x or y would be gone. So would billions of corporate and middle class welfare that gives with one hand and taxes with the other.

In return we’d have less debt, less tax, a faster track to surplus, killing inflation and interest rates, and more money on things like prisons, defence, GPs, council infrastructure, and performance pay for teachers.

The government would deregulate the economy. The reason people don’t bother to vote for city councillors is they have no power. Councillors cannot navigate the web of regulatory obligations on councils themselves, so they are beholden to much better paid but unelected politicians. Their plight is typical.

The Government would change the sentencing laws, give police more powers to deal with criminals, and increase the capacity to lock them up.

An ACT Government would state the values our country is founded upon unequivocally. Our universal human rights come before any identity politics, especially race. Neither William Wilberforce, Kate Sheppard nor MLK Jr are remembered because they saw good arguments on both sides and avoided offending anyone.

Here’s the twist, every action listed above is happening to one extent or other. The Coalition Government is cutting spending, and has committed to four years of tight fiscal discipline. Charter schools will not have to use union contracts, the teaching profession will be freer to work like lawyers, accountants, engineers, and other professions.

A Ministry of Regulation is going through over regulated sectors, on search and destroy red tape missions. Three Strikes is back, and prison capacity is getting a serious upgrade for old and young offenders alike. The Government’s official policy for social services will be need not race, and legislation will be introduced to push back on the courts’ endless twisting of the Treaty.

We have ACT in Cabinet for the first time ever. We also have the most right-wing and reformist Government since ACT entered Parliament. It’s either a huge coincidence that so many ACT values are being advanced so far, or ACT voters are getting enormous value for their vote.

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