Act Party

I’d say Act is rooted now

In a strange decision Act has pretty much decided its own fate today with the election of Jamie Whyte as leader and the interminably boring, yet very clever, David Seymour as it’s Epsom candidate at this years election.

The Herald reports:

Writer and philosopher Jamie Whyte is Act’s new leader and David Seymour will be the party’s candidate in Epsom at the election later this year.

The decision was made by the Act board today and is due to be officially announced at 3 pm.

Dr Whyte is expected to take over in about a month at the party’s AGM.

Dr Whyte, aged 48, has recently returned to live in New Zealand from abroad and has only recently become active in the party.

Mr Seymour, aged 30, first stood for Act in 2005 in Mt Albert against former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Last election he stood in Auckland Central.  Read more »

Guest Post: John Boscawen

This is a guest post from John Boscawen, and also his speech form last night.

Last night I organised a meeting for the three contestants for the ACT leadership. While the media reported 100, it was actually attended by 140 – we counted them. It was the biggest ACT-related public meeting since the 2011 campaign launch.

We have received very positive media coverage. It was covered by all major media.

I wanted the meeting to present the ACT Party and its candidates in the best possible light – we succeeded.

More importantly, it was the first and only opportunity for ACT members to hear from and question the candidates before the Board commences its deliberations at 9.30am on Saturday

As a public meeting, it also enabled me to invite many tens of donors to the Party that I have built relationships with over many years and who are not formal members – they appreciated it.   Read more »

Nats say yes to Maori, Act and Dunne, possibly Colin Craig

John Key has announced those parties he can work with, those he can possibly work with and those he won;t work with.

Prime Minister John Key today set out his decision on which parties National will consider working with following this year’s General Election.

“MMP makes it likely that every election will be a tight contest,” Mr Key says.

“That means it’s also likely that following the election we will need to work collaboratively with other parties to form a stable Government.

“First and foremost, National will be campaigning hard for every party vote it can win, because that puts us in the best position to continue the positive policy direction New Zealand is on.

“Put simply, the higher National’s party vote, the more options we have.

“I know that post the 2014 election, National will almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable Government.

“Since November 2008, we have shown that we can lead a stable Government with other political parties involved, even when those parties have different outlooks and policies.

“Looking ahead, it is most likely that the nature of these working relationships will be via Confidence and Supply Agreements, as these have worked well in the past two Parliamentary terms.

“In the end it is the public who largely determine the make-up of the Government by voting in parties to Parliament,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.   Read more »

Which other politicians have been summonsed by Dotcom?

We now know that Don Brash has been out to fawn over Kim Dotcom.

Rachel Glucina reports:

Former National Party leader Don Brash has responded to rumours he was seconded to Kim Dotcom’s mansion in Coatesville for secret meetings about providing policy advice to his political party. Brash is reluctant to discuss the internet tycoon, however he told The Diary yesterday he did pay a visit but he has not joined Dotcom’s payroll.

“I had a pleasant meeting with Dotcom at the mansion, but I can say I did not get involved with his party at all.”

Alas, as to what was said behind the Coatesville walls, Brash won’t divulge.

So Don Brash reckons he didn’t get involved with the party…but has he discussed writing some policy for them?  Read more »

Makes Luigi’s $13,000 look insignificant

The media were all agog last week, because shock horror someone got paid to work on a campaign.

And the truly horrifying amounts…just $13,000. More fuss was made of that payment to Luigi Wewege than the hundreds of thousands shovelled through Len Brown’s secret trust.

Now look at the US and wonder at the stupidity of our media. A recently settled campaign finance case in California shows you just a snippet of the amount of cash trucking around for political campaigning.

The just-settled California case offers an example of both gambits, along with a textbook case of the new dark-money shuffle. The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission traced $29 million raised to run ads about state ballot measures through a daisy chain of 501(c)4 tax-exempt groups, which are not required to identify donors—hence the “dark money.” The lynchpin for this maneuver was the Center to Protect Patients Rights (CPPR), run by a former Capitol Hill staffer named Sean Noble. Operating out of a post-office box in Arizona, CPPR’s sole function is to accept grants, then turn around and make grants for a network of conservative nonprofits.   Read more »

Hooton making the Brash play

Word from my sources in Act say they can’t believe that Matthew Hooton is making the same play as Don Brash. His overtures to them privately seem to be along the lines of “Make me the candidate for Epsom or I will set up another party and crush you”. Act is immune to that and the overtures of failed National party members.

It seems he is not content with a half billion dollar wrecking fiesta on Chorus and now wants to add a small political party to his wrecking CV.

Political commentator Matthew Hooton isn’t ruling out taking a tilt at the Epsom electorate, but it seems unlikely it would be under the ACT banner.

He says he’s flattered by speculation that he could be the party’s new leader, but has rubbished ACT’s chances of recovering its political standing.  Read more »

John Banks to retire at next election

My old mate Banksie has announced that he won’t stand again at the next election.

Personally I don’t blame him. The left-wing have worked very hard to get rid of Act as part of their wider strategy to isolate National and have been prepared to use anti-democratic mens to do so. I just wouldn’t be bothered if I was Banksie.

If it were me I’d quit at the end of next week and force a by-election to b held at the end of January. I’d do that for a couple of reasons…one is to make Labour spend even more money on by-elections and second because the toll on the family is just too great. I’d flip the bird and go on my way in life.

The Herald reports:

Act leader John Banks will not seek re-election in the 2014 general election.

The news was posted to the Act website by president John Boscawen soon after 10am this morning.  Read more »

PPTA raving – Redux

On Friday Deputy General Secretary Policy of the PPTA Bronwyn Cross opened the front door to the raving lunacy of an organisation that purports to represent NZ Secondary School teachers.

This is also the organisation having the major influence on the Green/Labour education “strategy”.

Here is a summary:

1) You are not allowed to ask them a question, to justify their position or to support anything with research or references (normal practice in a good school). It is also okay to treat people like they are stupid when they ask a question (interesting role modelling for educators).

 

Cross: “I will try to unscramble your points but I do not intend to enter into a dialogue with you about them.”

2) Yes – some Charter Schools do well overseas – but any money going to anything but a PPTA controlled school is theft.

Charter school results are a mixed bag but overall there is no good evidence that they do any better than the schools they are pinching resources and funding from.

3) Actually trying to motivate and encourage children to learn is a waste of time.

Cross: “Long experience in the classroom has taught me that you can’t teach someone something they don’t want to learn.”   Read more »

Tell him he’s dreamin’

There are some really thick people in the Act party…Chris Simmons is one of those.

[F]ormer Act president Chris Simmons is eying the blue-ribbon electorate of Pakuranga, in East Auckland – but he has a battle on his hands.

National’s Maurice Williamson, the local MP since 1987 and now a minister outside cabinet, had considered standing down to contest the Auckland mayoral election.   Read more »

Charter Schools on track, the left will be upset

John Banks was interviewed on Q+A about charter schools. It seems they are on track:

Act Party leader John Banks says there won’t be any changes to legislation around the controversial partnership schools despite opposition parties continuing their objections to elements of the bill such as allowing unqualified teachers.

The Education Amendment Bill, which would establish charter schools, known as partnership schools, was expected to pass in Parliament with the support of National, Act and the Maori Party.

Mr Banks told TVNZ’s Q+A programme today it was not insignificant the Maori Party would want to support the bill.

“Because every second young Maori leaves school after 12 years of schooling without NCEA level 2, no numeracy or literacy.”

He said the Maori Party had not asked for any changes to the bill in exchange for their support of it.  Read more »