Today marks 25-years of the ACT Party entering parliament, unique in the world for championing personal and economic freedom.
“Nowhere else in the world has a party that consistently stands for free markets and free minds gain consistent electoral traction, but ACT has won seats in every MMP election,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Every other party, in New Zealand and beyond, campaigns to tax and regulate one group of voters to curry favour with another. ACT alone stands on principle for free markets and free minds. We do it because the record of human history is crystal clear, freedom is the only path to human flourishing.
“ACT has always put good law making and public policy at centre of everything it does. ACT’s first campaign after being elected was to oppose the ‘Parliamentary Palace,’ which involved moving the Beehive to complete the second wing of Parliament House. Richard Prebble pointed out that, if the Beehive was to be moved, it would have been the second largest building in history to be moved, and the largest was in the Soviet Union. That’s why I joined the Party as a 21-year-old and why I have continued to support the party and the values it holds.
“Right from when the party was founded by Derek Quigley, a former National Cabinet Minister and Sir Roger Douglas, the former Labour Minister of Finance, we have consistently been the party of ideas, advocating for expanded personal freedom and responsibility.
“In the Clark years, Richard and Rodney struck fear into the IRD, Ministers with tennis balls, and anyone even thinking of wasting a hard-earned taxpayer dollar in Wellington. Conservative Labour Ministers privately admitted that fear of ACT was a great help to them. It killed their colleagues’ truly loony ideas before conception.
“In Government, ACT was responsible for the Super City, a long overdue merger every party agreed with privately, but no other party had the courage to tackle practically. Metro magazine announced on its cover ‘why Rodney Hide’s got it right.’
“ACT’s first term in Government also gave rise to the Productivity Commission, 3 Strikes, and 90 trials for all businesses. The latter two would prove to be among the only Key-era policies that Jacinda Ardern couldn’t live with.
“Charter Schools remain ACT’s signature achievement. They embody the liberation of the creative powers of a free society. This party was founded to redistribute not wealth but opportunity. To allow poor people to purchase the services they require off and open market, like rich people always have.
“The Labour Government shut charter schools for one day. They chose to take opportunity away from poor brown kids who never get a chance in favour of their union backers. They had to reopen them, though, even with union contracts they couldn’t kill an idea. The idea will be back, bigger and stronger for more kids.
“Only a party committed to freedom would have its leader turn down the baubles of office to get a bill through. That’s what I did to see the End-of-Life Choice Act passed, and next month it will become law.
“ACT is proud to have won seats in every MMP election. No other new party can match that record. Unfortunately, COVID-19 means our celebrations will have to go on hold – but later this year we will raise a glass to everything we have achieved.
“We’re now focussed on the next 25-years and coming up with more ways to continue ensuring New Zealanders lead their best and most fulfilling lives.”