ACT – Setting The Agenda
The ACT Parliamentary Party is holding a three day Caucus in Auckland next week, said ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble.
ACT holds Caucus meetings around the country to enable Caucus to personally examine local issues. Caucus has chosen to meet in fast growing Albany on Auckland’s North Shore, and issues on the agenda will include Auckland’s growing transport problems.
The Caucus will be followed by a combined Caucus and Board of ACT meeting to determine ACT’s strategic direction.
“Caucus is meeting in a very upbeat mood. The last six months have been very successful for the Party.
“At ACT’s January Caucus in Alexandra, the Caucus resolved not to give the coalition a honeymoon and to lead the opposition to ACC nationalisation and the union-promoting Employment Relations Bill.
“Government ministers publicly claim the huge opposition to their anti-business measures are stirred up by ACT.
“ACT is too modest to claim this, but the Party has sent out over 300,000 communications on the bills and organised over 27 well-attended seminars.
“ACT has this year pioneered e-politics. Our campaigns have been built around the use of specially designed web pages and e-mail.
“In April alone, ACT’s web page received over 250,000 hits.
“ACT MPs have organised web campaigns to oppose the bulk-funding of schools, Muriel Newman’s campaign for reform of custody laws, and Gerry Eckhoff’s campaign for rational environmental policies.
“ACT has recruited thousands of new subscribers and the Letter from Wellington, an email newsletter, is read by over 10,000 people every Monday and is the most widely quoted political newsletter by the media.
“Helen Clark’s attempts to personally smear Richard Prebble appear to have rebounded on the
government with over 67% of New Zealand not approving of her handling of the Dover Samuels affair.
“Labour’s attempts to blame an anonymous fax from a Grey Lynn pharmacy on ACT shows how worried Labour is by ACT’s effective opposition.
“The ACT Party is also in very good shape. The Party’s annual conference in Auckland, attended by over 400 delegates, was considered by many to be the best ever.
“The Party has professionally completed a total review of the organisation under the chairmanship of Ruth Richardson. A new stronger regional structure, based on seven divisions, is in the process of being implemented.
“The Party itself has moved to new headquarters in Auckland’s Newmarket.
“ACT made a strong attack on the coalition’s visionless, give away budget. The failure of the budget to connect with the public, the fall in Labour and Alliance poll ratings and the collapse in business confidence makes ACT convinced that this is a one term government.
“ACT will be part of the next government.
“I am taking a plan to the Caucus that will see ACT continue to be the party of fresh new ideas.
“I am proposing that ACT do something no opposition party in my lifetime has done – start to issue policy papers this year. I want ACT to set out practical positive solutions to the tax, spend and bust policies of the coalition.
“ACT MPs, along with Party members using internet chat groups, have been developing a range of innovative new ideas.
“It is difficult within the “sound bites” of a TV driven election campaign to put forward substantive policy proposals. While going early will give Labour and the Alliance opportunities to attack ACT, it also gives voters a chance to share ACT’s vision of a more prosperous New Zealand.
“Prosperity will never come from a Government hand out. Prosperity comes from giving people freedom, allowing choice and encouraging individual responsibility.
“ACT is preparing to set the agenda for the next election.