Speech: Mark Cameron
Real Change Now, SkyCity Theatre, 4 June 2023
All you good Kiwis,
Can we get three cheers for rural New Zealand?
It's cracking good to see so many great ACT supporters… So many good friends… so many awesome New Zealanders.
All of you good people have come out this Sunday afternoon, to share in a growing and exciting political journey… One that has made this party – OUR party – the fastest growing in New Zealand.
And we at ACT thank you for it.
We're here today to celebrate all the things that we know makes this country great.
And also to challenge where it's been going wrong lately… and to charter a better course, for our shared future.
After all, I'd happily remind ALL New Zealanders.... We are not lambs… We are lions and absolutely, unapologetically.... Proud Kiwis!
Now, some of you may have heard that there will be an election later this year. A chance to CHANGE. And I don’t know about you, but I think we need a REAL change of government, don’t you?
We have all seen it. So many New Zealanders… affronted by the political lunacy of the left.
Even more question, "What of our great country?" Why does it feel lost to me?
Where values and merit seems increasingly displaced by hyperbole and hysteria.
Where shallow political promises… Ever more bland and beige pronouncements… Turn into ever poorer outcomes for hardworking farmers and tradies.
We know this to be true… because we see it and feel it every day.
And we know that it falls to US to do something about it.
That is because ACT is the party of real Kiwis. If Labour is beholden to unions and academics… and National focuses on the top end of town… It is ACT that is listening to YOU.
Business owners... Manual workers... Tradies and farmers… The grafters of this great country… ALL undervalued and all over-regulated by those who just DON’T get it.
And if this sounds like you… If YOU have been made to feel almost like a second-class citizen in your own country. Then I have something very simple to tell you: ACT is YOUR voice.
I know, because it is my JOB to listen as Kiwis share in their worries...
Why they ask… "does this government want to pick winners or losers based on race or points of difference.... Rather than what UNITES us?
Why don’t they base policy on needs and outcomes?
Do we REALLY deserve a system where political elites pit urban against rural folk, in order to win more votes?.
Or where solutions are sought from focus groups and shadowy advisors… Rather than the common sense and Number 8 mentality that represents the BEST of this country?
Well, ACT is here to change all that.
In the face of the loonies on the left… And National’s apparent determination to do as little as possible… ACT is LISTENING… ACT is learning from you… and ACT is proposing better ideas… Not just opposing the nonsense spewing from the Beehive.
We ACT members… We see it as our duty to stand-up to the mismanagement and waste from Wellington… And put practicality BACK into public policy.
Pragmatism over pontificating…
And PRIDE in our history and culture… Not shame.
Because people like you and I deserve to be heard…
And we are going to take this country back.
ACT has been the party of rural New Zealand certainly for the last 6 years now.
And we are ALL the better for it.
That rural voice… that has grown stronger under ACT… will only get louder as our numbers increase. That is my commitment to you.
And this year, we have doubled our rural representation… From one – exceptionally handsome - farmer to TWO. A fantastic, new addition to our team… Another hands on, TRUE gum-booter.
So now, can I ask you to please put your hands together and welcome Andrew Hoggard to the ACT family… And to tell you a bit about our plans to bring some REAL change to how we run this place…
Thank you all, my friends.