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ACT Conference Will Set Agenda For Election

The ACT Party conference this weekend will focus on the key issues the party believes the next election will be fought on - health, education, law and order, and the economy/tax.

"ACT will be holding workshops on these issues at the conference. We believe neither of the two main parties has credible solutions to the complex problems in health and education," ACT leader Richard Prebble said.

"ACT believes there must be greater use of the private sector in health.

"In education, standards are meaningless without exams.

"In law and order, we need a justice system that holds criminals personally responsible for their actions.

"In the economy, ACT says it's the private sector that creates prosperity. We need lower taxes than Australia and reduced compliance costs.

"The ACT conference is again inviting world-class speakers to stimulate debate and discussion. Rob McLeod, author of the McLeod tax report, will be making his first public speech since presenting the $1 million report to the government.

"Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Peter Reith will speak on the ANZAC relationship. Mr Reith has not been giving interviews since his retirement, so interest in his speech is high on both sides of the Tasman.

"Theodore Dalrymple, a columnist for the Spectator magazine in the UK, is a much-admired speaker on the international circuit. He is a doctor who has worked in the slums of England and has many interesting observations, not just about the health system but also about society. He has never spoken in New Zealand before.

"At the ACT conference, we always invite a successful entrepreneur to give insights into how to encourage excellence in New Zealand. This year it's Bill Day, CEO and founder of Seaworks, a multi-million dollar global marine technology company that walks the walk on innovation.

"The opening speech will be given by ACT's co-founder Derek Quigley on Friday night. This is his first major speech for ACT since he retired as an MP at the last election. Sir Roger Douglas has agreed to join Derek on the platform and say a few words for a founders' night.

"The conference will be opened by John Banks, whose successful campaign for the mayoralty has demonstrated that Auckland is responsive to a vigorous, policy-based Centre-Right campaign.

"ACT intends using the conference to set the agenda for the election campaign, to campaign on the real issues, rather than making declaratory statements against Robert Mugabe and such like," Mr Prebble said.

"ACT is a party with fresh ideas and positive, practical solutions. The conference comes at a time when ACT has risen in every poll this year.

"ACT believes the party is capable of winning 20 seats and holding the balance of power after the election," Mr Prebble said.


WHEN: Friday 15 to Sunday 17 March

WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hotel (formerly the Centra), 128 Albert Street, Auckland


Friday 7pm - Derek Quigley

7.45pm Founders' Night Sir Roger Douglas joins Derek Quigley on the platform)

Saturday 9.15am John Banks

9.40am Catherine Judd

10.30am Theodore Dalrymple

1.30pm Peter Reith

3.50pm Roger Moses, principal of Wellington College

7.30pm Bill Day

Sunday 9am AGM

10.50am Leader's address, Hon Richard Prebble

12.15pm Campaign strategy with Brian Nicolle and Graham Watson

During the conference, workshops on health, education, law and order and the economy/tax will be open to the media.


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