Roll on September

ACT’s next election year stop is July 12. We’ve had another strong week of sales for Dare to be Different, with a sell out in reach. If you’d like to help us sell out the ASB Waterfront Theatre (or you’re worried we will and don’t want to miss out), please register for our campaign launch ASAP. Meanwhile, we introduce some of our shiny new candidates to you, the loyal Free Press reader.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

“The biggest damage by far has been to the businesses and jobs that depend on the movement of people in and out of the country.” “That’s understandable, but here’s the real cost: We should be moving on to a much wider border entry program.” One of these sentences was in Free Press last Tuesday and the other in Steven Joyce’s ‘premium’ Herald column on Saturday. If you can tell the difference before we sell out, we’ll give you two free tickets to Dare to Be Different.

ACT’s Party List

Yesterday, ACT announced a Party List showing the talent that voters can elect by giving their Party Vote to ACT. In total, 54 candidates are standing from Northland to Southland. All are asking voters to give their Party Vote to ACT except David Seymour who is asking Epsom voters to reelect him as their local MP. The list showcases enormous talent including lawyers, engineers, a former police officer, teachers, farmers, hunters, a publican and more.

David Seymour

David has been an MP for five years and named MP of the year in two of them. Nobody in living memory has entered Parliament alone, represented an electorate, led a party and been part of a Government straight away. David was responsible for charter schools that transformed kids’ lives for the better and even Labour could not close. The End of Life Choice Act is a landmark piece of human rights legislation that nobody thought a sole MP could navigate through Parliament. Part of the answer is that he was not a sole MP.

Brooke van Velden

Brooke is the future of ACT and New Zealand politics. Likeable, smart, and classical liberal, she will speak for a generation who care about the planet and are socially tolerant, but don’t want to live in communist cauldron of identity politics. She left the private sector, where she was involved in lobbying for businesses affected by government overreach, to work at Parliament. She had with one mission, to get the End of Life Choice Act passed. Seldom does a parliamentary staffer get national media attention for their effectiveness, but Brooke van Velden is a future leader.

Nicole McKee

In the wake of our nation’s tragedy in Christchurch, Nicole McKee provided the calm and intelligent voice of reason on firearms law. So much so she was awarded communicator of the year as spokesperson for COLFO through this difficult time. Nicole runs her own business providing firearms safety training, and is a four-time New Zealand shooting champion. Nicole is a mother, passionate about welfare reform, and freedom of speech. She will make an excellent MP.

Chris Baillie

At a time when New Zealanders are rightly concerned about how small business has been treated through the COVID-19 crisis and before, ACT’s number four is a real small business owner who employs 30 people. At the same time crime, poverty and gang violence are worrying many New Zealanders. Chris was a police officer for fourteen years, specialising in Youth Aid. Today, in addition to his business, he is a full time secondary school teacher helping special needs students. Chris will bring a powerful and experienced voice to Parliament.

Simon Court

Farmer are facing punitive and destructive water regulations while city councils have resource consent to discharge raw sewage from their leaky infrastructure into the sea. The problem may be solved in Auckland if the punters run out of water to flush with. Simon Court is a civil and environmental engineer who has worked internationally on waste management and infrastructure. Simon admits he once voted for the Greens, but nobody is perfect and ACT believes in redemption. He voted Green to save the planet, not destroy the economy, and his message that we need more innovation and less regulation to solve environmental problems is pure ACT.

Communism by Openness

If Working For Families was ‘communism by stealth’ (we are still waiting for National to reverse it), then the Greens’ new policy walks it in the front door. At least they are giving us a real contrast. You either believe the way to solve poverty is to divide the pie or grow the pie. ACT has always been on the growing side. Incidentally, notice how this policy does not help the environment. It’s wealthy countries that can afford to look after the environment. Any policy that makes the country poorer is a step backwards for the environment.

What’s the Strategy Now?

Epidemics end in one of two ways. Either the virus dies out or people just stop caring, opting instead to just carry on. Option one has not occurred but option two is starting to happen around the world. This creates a strategic conundrum for New Zealand. As the rest of the world opens up and moves on, what is our strategy if there is no vaccine? At some point we need to stop delaying the change and get proactive about smart borders. Why can a Recognised Seasonal Employer who has government-inspected accommodation for workers from COVID-19-free islands, for instance, not start bringing workers in?