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Friday 27th Apr 2001 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Other

ACT leader Richard Prebble says his party is winning the “battle of ideas” in Parliament, with other parties adopting many of ACT’s policies as their own.

In a speech tonight to ACT Party supporters in Auckland, Mr Prebble said ACT had been the most influential party in politics during the past 12 months, a fact that had been brought home to him in the aftermath of the Qantas New Zealand collapse.

“What made me realise how much ACT’s ideas are winning was when the leader of the Alliance, the recognised leader of the left in New Zealand, Jim Anderton, said it was unthinkable that Air New Zealand not face competition,” he said.

“No one on the left, not even the red Greens, or the Engineers’ Union, or Chris Trotter, contradicted him.

“When I introduced competition into aviation in the 1980s, Jim Anderton and the left raged against me. A monopoly provider, they said, was best.”

Helen Clark, in her Prime Ministerial statement to Parliament this year, had adopted as the government’s principal goal, ACT’s proposal that New Zealand lift its per capita income to be in the top half of the OECD, Mr Prebble said.

A year ago, Labour had increased income tax. Now, Finance Minister Michael Cullen was talking about lower taxes to encourage saving, and tax breaks for research and development, with not a word of protest from the left.

“Gone is all the anti-business rhetoric. Further ACC changes promised last year are now forgotten. This month a Labour government, encouraged by ACT, has offered a free trade agreement to Hong Kong,” he said.

“In a democracy it’s the contest of ideas that matters and it is ACT’s vision – of a society centred around the individual, not the state; of free enterprise, not socialism; of one law for all, not separatism; of freedom of choice, not central planning; of competition, not state monopoly – that is winning this contest.”

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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