Change Makers was an unqualified success, with over 500 people buying tickets for a stellar show. Free Press would like to thank everyone who attended, and all the volunteers and workers who made the event hum.


Media have reported “The party’s five ministers exuded energy and confidence in their speeches. Being part of the Government is suiting Act. It feels like it belongs there. The performances of its three women ministers were powerful.”

This week Free Press presents the best snippet of each speech, with links to the full speeches.

Brooke van Velden

“ACT saw that it wouldn’t be enough to simply swap the Government from red to blue, we needed to evict Labour’s ideas too. It cannot be stated enough that all we do is to empower you. Where other parties play Santa Claus, buying votes by taxing and regulating those who create value and distributing the loot to those who might vote for them, only ACT is committed to getting government out of your way so that every New Zealander can succeed on his or her own terms. It takes courage to vote for the party that is not offering you handouts, but the opportunity to achieve on your own merit.”

Read Brooke’s full speech.

Nicole McKee

“A message for anyone who’s thinking of joining a gang or ram-raiding a petrol station or intimidating their community:

Your protectors in Labour and the Greens have been turfed out of government. Now that ACT has its hands on the levers of justice we will not use a light touch when it comes to protecting the rights of peaceful, productive New Zealanders. We threw out the wet bus tickets.

The joyride is over. ACT’s road-spikes are permanently deployed. Actions have consequences now, and it is time to make a positive change in your life.

Your decisions matter. Your efforts matter. And that happens to be ACT’s universal promise, for every New Zealander. If you can get out of bed each day and make a positive contribution to your own future, you’ll be rewarded, and your rights will be protected.”

Read Nicole’s full speech.

Karen Chhour

“On Facebook, Te Pāti Māori made a post saying that my own experience is evidence of the need for Section 7AA. That if that law was around when I was a child, I would have been ‘raised Māori’ and would have been connected with my whakapapa.

That is the sad, narrow-minded worldview that underpins some of the opposition to ACT’s work. The idea that there’s a ‘right kind’ of Māori. That children with any Māori ancestry should be defined by that whakapapa, put into that box, lest they grow up to be like me.

My four children are Māori. They are also Pakeha. And through my husband’s side, they are Cambodian. But above all, they are individual people, with unique experiences and their own perspectives on the world. I find it offensive, and frankly racist, that anyone would put one aspect of their identity on a pedestal, above all the rest.”

Read Karen’s full speech.

Andrew Hoggard

“New Zealand farmers feed 40 million people around the world. They are the epitome of change makers – getting up at the crack of dawn to make a difference in their own life and the lives of others. Here’s one thing lefties and environmentalists don’t understand: farmers are the true environmentalists.

We live off the land, so we have every incentive to care for it. New Zealand farmers are the most emissions-efficient in the world, so punishing them, only for that production to be done offshore, makes absolutely no sense from an environmental perspective. ACT understands that.

The biggest challenge for many people in rural New Zealand right now is interest rates. They’re higher than they need to be because of rampant inflation. Of course, inflation has been driven by massive government spending and excessive red tape which drives down productivity.

The recent Budget was a step on the path to restoring fiscal discipline in Wellington. It didn’t go as far as ACT would have liked, but it went further than it would have if ACT wasn’t at the Cabinet table.”

Watch Andrew’s full speech.

Paul Henry

“This country needs a lurch toward strong growth and a massive lurch toward encouraging the private sector. We need a stupendous lurch toward greater security for our people – the first priority of any government is to protect its citizens. And we need to draw a thick line under the separate governance bullsh*t that has been encouraged to infiltrate out systems and lives.

One of the things I love about ACT is a sense of fearlessness. Change makers speak their mind and air their opinions at every opportunity. You must do that. When did New Zealanders lose their ability to challenge? Cowering rather than commenting? To silently approve rather than vocally condemn? Silence is the enemy of truth.”

Watch Paul’s full speech.

David Seymour

“In the beginnings of New Zealand people who arrived on our shores were brave and free and made their own luck. We have a shared history of pioneering, facing adversity and finding a way, overcoming obstacles to make for a better tomorrow.

Over time we seem to have lost a lot of that spirit. ACT and its change makers believe that our original spirit is precious and want to bring it back, to reignite it. Because that is when New Zealand succeeds, but right now we are floundering. The country has lost its way because for so long we have been told what to do, and even how to think.

ACT believes that if the choice and the equal chance and the opportunity and the freedom were handed back to each one of us – we can make our own luck again. But we need change to make that happen. That is why we need you, change makers.”

Watch David’s full speech.

Free Press will be monitoring ACT’s social media and Youtube channel as further highlights from Change Makers are shared.

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