ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election.
“The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses and who want to protect and enhance our free society. Our candidates will bring a strong dose of common sense to Parliament,” says President Tim Jago.
Among ACT’s candidates are End of Life Choice advocates, a former Police officer, two teachers, two lawyers, three farmers, four engineers, eleven business owners, and 13 licensed firearms owners.
“The recent polls have been encouraging for ACT and suggest voters could elect a handful of new ACT MPs. Our team will be working hard to earn the trust of voters because New Zealanders want some common sense for a change,” says Mr Jago.
David Seymour has been confirmed as the Party’s Leader and number 1 on the list.
“Since the last election our membership has tripled and we are now standing 56 candidates up from 42 last time. ACT has huge momentum and it’s showing through in the high calibre candidates standing for the Party,” says Mr Seymour.
Newly-elected Deputy Leader and number 2 on ACT’s list, Brooke van Velden, is qualified in international trade and was instrumental in passing the End of Life Choice Act as an advisor to David Seymour in Parliament. Her private sector experience as a corporate affairs consultant and political experience at Parliament has given her a deep understanding of the economy and the effect big government policies and rushed laws have on businesses and individuals.
“I switched from being a Green Party voter to an ACT supporter while studying economics and international trade at Auckland University. The ability for free markets to lift countries from hardship was a revelation for me,” says Ms van Velden. Brooke is also a committed social liberal, championing the right to autonomy over our own bodies.
New candidate Nicole McKee has been ranked at number 3. Nicole is a small business owner having delivered firearms safety education in rural and isolated communities for New Zealand Police. She also has a background in law, firearms component imports, was the co-ordinator of the nation’s volunteer firearms safety instructors for the Mountain Safety Council and the spokesperson for the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners and its Fair and Reasonable Campaign.
“I am campaigning to raise ACT’s Party Vote in Rongotai. I do not believe that emotive and rushed legislation that adversely affects those it is intended to support is viable. Our laws should be rooted in policies that recognise our democratic rights to think, to speak and to behave in a legal and unobstructed way. I am standing for ACT because our principles not only promote freedom to live within the law but also efficient policies while treating everyone as equal.
Chris Baillie is a small business owner, full-time secondary school teacher, former policeman of 14 years. He currently owns a local hospitality venue employing 30 staff. He has a strong interest in sport and music, being an enthusiastic supporter of the local jazz scene. Mr Baillie has been ranked at number 4.
“I believe in personal responsibility and personal freedom, in particular the right to free speech, and believe that less bureaucratic and government intervention in our lives is the way forward for New Zealand,” says Mr Baillie.
Simon Court is ranked number 5 on the ACT list. Simon is a civil and environmental engineer with 23 years' experience in roles for the private sector and local government. This includes ten years leading engineering, planning, tendering, and construction teams primarily in Auckland, Wellington, and Fiji. Simon has three boys at high school. They share a love of loud music, fast cars, biking, fitness, good science, and good ideas. His youngest son has Down Syndrome and Simon intends to take a disability perspective to Parliament.
“I believe in the principles of the Party where communities, individuals and businesses lead the way. ACT promotes innovation, not regulation – reducing waste to landfill, bringing real sustainability in construction and building, and clean water in towns and country are critical issues. One way of solving them is replacing the RMA, which is not fit for purpose and needs to go.
Dr James McDowall has been ranked at number 6. He owns several small businesses. He also works for a large NGO in the mental health sector. James lives in Hamilton with his wife and young daughter. He has led the development of ACT's firearm policy in the wake of the Government's 2019 Arms Amendment Act.
“I have supported ACT for 15 years. Being a member of two pistol clubs in the Waikato is a part of my life. I was proud that ACT stood for common sense when it mattered most. I'm a libertarian who is sceptical of big government. My experience in business and the community sector has taught me that government has a role but when it oversteps that role it becomes part of the problem rather than the solution,” says Dr McDowall.
Karen Chhour is a self-employed mother of four who has lived on Auckland's North Shore for the last thirty years. She strongly believes that, with the right tools, anyone in this country can make something of themselves. Karen is ranked at number 7 on ACT’s list.
“We have spent way too long trying to make a broken system work. I love this country but we have slowly taken away people's ability to think for themselves without them even realising it. We have forgotten what hard work and choices mean as there is always someone else to blame. This does not do anyone a favour if we are no longer responsible for ourselves,” says Mrs Chhour.
At number 8 is Mark Cameron, a Ruawai dairy farmer and rural advocate.
“The rural sector has been under considerable pressure from bad government policy over the past decade, but it has intensified in the past two years under this Government. It is not only that the Zero Carbon Act and water regulations are damaging to rural New Zealand, there is a feeling that we have been forgotten and I see the pain and anguish in my community daily. I’m standing for ACT to help put some balance and perspective back into politics when it comes to rural New Zealand,” says Mr Cameron.
ACT’s full list can be found below and candidate biographies can be found here.
1 - David Seymour
2 - Brooke Van Velden
3 - Nicole McKee
4 - Chris Baillie
5 - Simon Court
6 - James McDowall
7 - Karen Chhour
8 - Mark Cameron
9 - Stephen Berry
10 - Toni Severin
11 - Damien Smith
12 - Miles McConway
13 - Beth Houlbrooke
14 - Carmel Claridge
15 - Bruce Carley
16 - Cameron Luxton
17 - Grae O'Sullivan
18 - Myah Deedman
19 - David Seymour
20 - David King