The Inevitable Death of ACT


Liam Bateman writes.

On several occasions, I have been the victims of attacks of a Young Nat troll. In a Facebook post when I announced I had officially joined the Labour movement, two Young Nats pounced on me. I was able to hold them off on my own, but had some aid from my friends, including Insiders contributor Bennett.

One attack saw them calling Labour out for being able to work with the Green Party. He said and I quote, “ The Greens are a bunch of far left wing idiots who want to clean our rivers and focus on real issues.” I think he meant to add won’t but this is a direct quote from the post. I would also like to point out to readers this is the same Young Nat who got his rear end handed to him by Lorde. I find it quite hypocritical that people like him attack Labour for being able to work with the Greens. I do not believe they’re far left, as claimed by the Young Nat. They’re definitely further left but not anywhere near the communism that he probably thinks the Greens stands for.
Why do I find it hypocritical? Because they so gladly will work with the ACT Party, who unlike the Green Party have had their policy put in place before and it caused some of the worst times for the New Zealand people. They are the closest thing we have to UKIP and luckily, they are on the inevitable path to political irrelevancy. Last year, ACT got their worst election result ever, not even getting 1% of the vote. Had Epsom been lost to Paul Goldsmith, ACT would have been out of Parliament. But how did they come to this position?

It all started in 1988, when David Lange did the right thing and kicked Roger Douglas out of the finance portfolio and into the backbenches before leaving in 1990. Despite this, his successor, Caygill, continued the reforms and furthered the damage to Labour, forcing them into the opposition. In 1995, Roger Douglas founded ACT, essentially his plaything to continue his agenda. Their first result, under former SOE minister Richard Prebble, was remarkable. A result of 6.10 % was achieved and Prebble won Wellington Central, the only other seat ACT has held aside from Epsom. This gave ACT 8 seats. However, three years later, ACT lost Wellington Central to Labour’s Marian Hobbs. But an increase in party vote meant ACT suffered no significant loss. Following 2002, ACT would begin to lose power.

Polling became poorer and poorer with each result. In 2005, Rodney Hide saw ACT descend into disaster territory. Whilst he was joined by a list MP, ACT had fallen greatly. Despite a tiny surge in 2008, every result following was a disaster, with ACT only staying in power thanks to Epsom, a seat that would no longer be yellow if Slater had not interfered in Don Brash’s coup de tat. But 2014 is the nail in the coffin for ACT. They’ve fallen to their lowest support ever. A party that had commanded 120000 voters have fallen to just over 15000 voters. Surely this is a sign the party is doomed to flop. ACT’s association with the 80s and 90s reforms has turned voters away.

The party is out of touch with New Zealanders who time and time again, have rejected Roger Douglas’ agenda. ACT’s leadership needs to ask themselves these questions. Does New Zealand want to abandon their nuke free stance? Do they want the minimum wage scrapped? Do they want the RMA scrapped? Do they want their wages driven down by anti-worker legislation? The answer is an unequivocal no! David Seymour, Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and the Houlbrooke family need to get this through their thick skulls. The ACT Party is dead and nothing can change that fact.


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