New Zealand needs more than trimming the sails. It needs to change course and set a whole new direction. It’s difficult to imagine how they could do worse than the division and waste that six years of Labour/Green/New Zealand First have delivered. Unless you imagine them propped up by the Māori Party as well. ACT on the other hand is disciplined and focused, delivering real solutions to unite New Zealand behind better ideas. People who back ACT’s vision are rallying at Real Change Now in Auckland on Sunday June 4. A third of tickets sold in the first week, please click here to secure yours.


Last week saw an epidemic of Waka Jumping, with Meka Whaitiri leaving Labour for the Māori Party and Elizabeth Kerekere leaving the Greens for, well, nowhere. The crazy thing is nobody really knows what they’re fighting about. We at Free Press like them more than they like each other.

When Dame Tariana Turia left Labour to found the Māori Party, she had a good reason. Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed legislation took away the right of citizens to test their property rights in court. It was wrong at the most basic level, and she left Labour on an important principle - the Rule of Law.

Why did Meka Whaitiri leave Labour? Nobody knows, except she says she’s been “emancipated” and "It's my calling. It's who I am as a Māori.” Emancipation usually means being freed from slavery, was Whaitiri really enslaved by Labour, or does she just like to exaggerate?

Why did Elizabeth Kerekere leave the Greens? Apparently because Green Party staff and members said she was a bully. Nobody has seen a single example of this other than calling Chloe Swarbrick a ‘crybaby,’ a comment Swarbrick herself shrugged off by saying she’d been called worse. Was the other stuff worse? We’ll never know.

There’s an old saying that the revolution eats its children. It seems like the parties of the left are being consumed by the identity politics and obsession with emotional safety that they have forced on the rest of the country. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

The problem is the distraction means important stuff doesn’t get reported. The left’s infighting won’t make one dairy safer, fill one pothole, get one kid to school, or take one tenth of a point off inflation. But, it soaks up the headlines because people who go into political journalism love this sort of drama.

It shouldn’t be that way. Every day the left are fighting themselves should be a day that some sanity prevails elsewhere. Here’s one example, ACT’s call this morning to put Youth Justice back in the hands of Corrections, and fund more secure facilities for youth offenders so the cops don’t spend their lives playing tag and release while shopkeepers are terrorised.

The country faces serious challenges on nearly every front. Since 2018 the Government has increased spending by 61 per cent. Health funding has gone up 68 per cent in those five years, but does anyone believe healthcare is now better? Where do all these billions go?

Even Grant Robertson is starting to look a little weary in Parliament when he blames it all on a pandemic that the world moved on from over a year ago. It certainly doesn’t explain the current year’s expenditure, let alone next years which will be higher still.

Education spending is up 38 per cent in five years, much higher than the 20 per cent general inflation in the same period. Does anyone believe that more kids are attending school and learning more than five years ago? They definitely are not.

The regulatory state has gone mad, and adds costs to everything anyone does. A surveyor needs a traffic management plan with all the cones every time they up a theodolite near a road. Free Press heard from a day care centre where children need an excursion form to play under a tree in the back yard, because the Ministry of Education says children are ‘off site’ if they leave the Ministry-inspected building! This is why we can’t have nice things.

These challenges can be faced down, with a disciplined approach to Government spending and regulation. But if you wonder how it got so bad, just look at the three-party political circus that would be in Government. If Chris Hipkins can’t keep tabs on 60-odd MPs, how could he possibly manage 60,000 public servants to deliver sensible rules and value for money?

ACT meanwhile has been rewarded in a symbolic way for being disciplined and focused. The party has always been ranked fourth in Parliament behind the Greens. Even though both have ten MPs, the Greens got a few thousand more votes in the last election. Now they have only nine MPs, so ACT will officially be the third largest party in Parliament. Thank you for all your support getting us this far. We’re just getting started bringing the Real Change and real solutions our country needs.

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