Act Party

The Act Party on Immigration and New Zealand’s Refugee quota

I contacted National, Labour, Act, The Maori Party, NZ First, the Greens, the Opportunities Party, the Conservatives and United Future to ask them all three questions. The second party to respond to my questions was The Act Party. Below are my questions and their answers in full and un-edited.


The perception of many of our readers is that left-of-centre political parties prefer immigrants from low socio-economic countries who are highly dependent on the state and poorly educated because immigrants like that will naturally vote for the left-of-centre parties who allowed them in. Which immigrants get priority under Act’s policy and why?


ACT has not released our immigration policy for the 2017 election. However, we believe in general that immigration is a good thing. The perception that immigrants sponge off the taxpayer is not true: A recent New Zealand Initiative report showed that immigrants contribute, on average, a net $2600 per year to government coffers, compared to the New Zealand-born average of $170.

Skilled immigrants ready to fill job vacancies would get priority, as would people who want to invest or start a business here. International students should also be prioritised as they generate revenue allowing universities to provide a better service to New Zealand students, and reduce the burden on taxpayers. Our big cities need an increase in construction activity to meet demand for new houses (and infrastructure), so there should be an allowance for those who are coming to work or invest in the construction sector (once red tape is removed from the planning and building system). Immigrant labour was critical to the Christchurch rebuild.

We would continue to welcome family reunification with the caveat that immigrants should not be eligible for superannuation after only 10 years living in the country, we will announce an extension to this period later in the year.

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How is Act’s flagship policy doing?

After being sent the Act Press release about the fifth Partnership schools’ application round I asked David Seymour’s office a few questions about their flagship policy and they responded on behalf of David in his capacity as Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education.

More students deserve opportunities beyond those offered by the state school system. That’s why for Round 5, we welcome two types of applications. Applications can have a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) focus, or a priority learner focus.

-Act Press release

The below questions and answers are reproduced in full and unedited.


The Partnership school policy was always promoted as providing improvement for “priority learners” and there is clear evidence of the need to do this for Maori, Pasifika and low-income families. At the moment there are only 10 Charter Schools currently operating so there is clearly still a long way to go before the issue of priority learners can be adequately addressed. Given there is still a long way to go why has there been an expansion to “STEM” and why do you think there is a need for it?


The focus on STEM is an expansion of the policy rather than a replacement of focusing on priority learners.  Priority learners continue to remain a focus of the policy.  While New Zealand has a highly respected education system, international indicators show that New Zealand students’ performance in science and mathematics has room for improvement.  As with all Partnership Schools, enrolment at STEM schools will be open to all students, including priority learners.

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Winston reminds ACT they aren’t true to party principles

New Zealand First is calling on the MP, David Seymour, to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to tobacco excise taxes given he voted with the government to increase them.

“Mr Seymour has been caught blowing his puppy whistle again,” says the New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“While Mr Seymour rails against the tobacco excise tax in public, designed to curry favour with the working man and women in the street, he voted with this National government to increase them. Read more »

Guest Post- “I might vote ACT but I can’t risk a wasted vote.”

Guest Post: Act Party Leader David Seymour.

“I might vote ACT but I can’t risk a wasted vote.” If I had a dollar for every time someone has written that on WhaleOil then I wouldn’t need to fundraise for ACT ever again. Of course, your vote is your own and of course you can cast it however you want for any reason you like – anything else would not be democracy. If you don’t want to vote for ACT because you don’t agree with ACT, that’s ok.

This is a post for people who are interested in giving their party vote for ACT but worry that doing so could hand a majority to the Labour/Green/NZ First schmozzle. That’s a fear I can appreciate, but won’t be a concern in 2017 for reasons I’ll put to you below.Wasted vote syndrome is a particular challenge for ACT because our potential voters tend to think a lot. Sometimes I wish we had the 95,000-odd Conservative voters who really did merrily waste their vote last election or the stunned New Zealand First voters who took to talkback furious to discover they hadn’t just elected Winston after the election before. On balance, I’d still rather be leading ACT.So: will a vote for ACT be wasted?

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Is David Seymour a friend of Israel?

After the National Party shafted Israel at the UN a number of us here on Whaleoil expressed our disgust. Some of us asked what other political parties we could give one or both of our votes to in order to show both our support for Israel and our condemnation of what the National Party has done. I decided to contact the leaders of Act, New Zealand First and the Maori Party as well as the Labour Party. I didn’t bother with the Green Party as their anti-Israel stance was made abundantly clear earlier this year. The Conservative Party currently lacks a leader so I had no one to contact.


The first leader to respond to my request for comment was Labour leader, Andrew Little. The second leader to respond was Act Leader, David Seymour whose response was delayed by poor internet coverage. I am very impressed considering that most politicians are on holiday and unavailable to media yet both leaders took the time out to reply.Until yesterday the New Zealand mainstream media hadn’t even bothered to cover the story.Whaleoil is the only media outlet so far to ask the leaders if they and their parties are friends of Israel.

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Are you voting for the party that best represents your views?

I consider myself an Act supporter but was shocked by the results of the political quiz I took that revealed that the majority of policy positions that I support are not Act policies. In fact, Act was not even included in the 4 party possibilities given to me and NZ First came in second place. According to the quiz I side with the National Party on most political issues with NZ First a close second. Unless the quiz is seriously flawed and didn’t include all the New Zealand political parties, Act is either not as conservative as I thought it was or I am more liberal than I thought I was.

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David Seymour calls Labours bill against Charter Schools “Ground Hog day”

Last week the Labour Party brought yet another bill to the House to try to undermine New Zealand Charter schools (Partnership Schools .) Act Party leader David Seymour called the bill ” Ground Hog day,” referring to a film of that name where a man finds himself caught in a time loop and forced to relive the same day over and over again. Poor David had to defend Partnership schools from yet another attack bill from the Labour Party who appear to be forced to do the biddings of their Union masters over and over and over again. As with previous attempts, Labour’s attack was neutralised. Act, National, United Future and the Maori Party voted against it and it was defeated 63-57.

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So who in New Zealand stood up to condemn intolerance and hate?


Credit where credit is due. We do have in New Zealand groups willing to stand up and be counted and they deserve recognition. Below are the political parties and groups who responded to our article and video of Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib.

The Human Rights Commission says an Auckland man’s speeches condemning Jewish people are appalling and have no place in New Zealand…

“This kind of intolerance is not welcome here in any form: Prejudice against Jewish people has no place in New Zealand.”

…We have asked for an urgent response from FIANZ.”

The Human Rights Commission

The Administration Council of the Islamic Women’s Council would like to respond to the video containing clips of speeches posted online by Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib.

Firstly, regarding the comments directed towards Jewish people, these are totally inappropriate and we unequivocally condemn any divisive comments of a similar nature.

… We regularly extend our hand in friendship to the Jewish community in New Zealand, and will continue to do so.

IWCNZ is particularly sensitive to the views represented by the comments towards women. The approach shown is a religious misinterpretation, in our opinion, and we are disappointed that certain religious leaders may encourage this damaging rhetoric.

-Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand

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ACT: David’s Dilemma [UPDATED]

This morning, I ran a story suggesting ACT’s performance through David Seymour this year is noticeably less impressive than last year.


A number of Whaleoil commenters disagreed with me, and this appears to have spurred Mr Seymour on to send the following email:

From: David Seymour <>
Date: 22 November 2016
Subject: Comedy
To: “camslater@gmailxxx” <camslater@gmailxxx>

Based on the comments and their popularity it looks like your readers agree that you are getting old or need a humour transplant. If you were following closely you’d see that my last two parliamentary questions led to news stories, how many MPs are you aware of who achieve that? What about this speech in defense of PSKH ? And so it goes on.

Kind regards

David Seymour
MP for Epsom, Leader ACT New Zealand

David clearly wanted me to react, so for a while I decided to not give him the pleasure.   But after a while I realised there was an object lesson going begging.

A couple of points before I get to it. Read more »

Would someone please tell the kiddies in Seymour’s office to put down the crayons

With each passing day, David Seymour is becoming more and more a laughing stock with his ludicrous suggestions and flippant utterings.

His latest stunt to propose we create the United States of New Zealand.

Local government needs to be given freedom from central government interference, combined with clearer accountability to voters, says ACT Leader David Seymour in the wake of the New Zealand Initiative’s latest report on localism.

The report summarises its idea as “setting clear roles for each tier of government, with limits on the ability of either party to act beyond these limits”.

“Central government meddling in local affairs has resulted in central and local authorities blaming each other for every second problem. This buck-passing has left voters unable to effectively hold either authority to account,” says Mr Seymour.

“If a local council wants to make its own rules around a local issue, the government needs to drop its own meddling in that subject. This way, if things go wrong, it’s clear who voters should hold to account.   Read more »