Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


ACT To Campaign Overseas

Thursday 13 Jun 2002

The ACT Party is to campaign globally. ACT is sending MPs to campaign in Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, leader Richard Prebble said today.

"Here is why. Since the election of this Labour government, 174,255 New Zealanders have left the country. Most are young, educated and skilled - the profile of the ACT voter. Best of all, most are eligible to vote," Mr Prebble said.

"Last election the overseas vote was significant but still only a fraction of the potential vote. The potential vote is many times higher. A paper produced by the Treasury estimates about 600,000 people born in New Zealand are now living overseas. Almost 400,000 ex-pat Kiwis live in Australia and a further 60,000 in Britain.

"A significant number are eligible to vote - ACT estimates about 250,000 potential voters. Yet last election just 11,400 of these voters cast a vote.

"The reasons are numerous but it's partly that overseas voting has been physically difficult. A second reason is the legal requirement that to cast a valid vote you must re-enrol each election.

"Labour, has changed that rule. Now there is no need to re-enrol. Further, Labour has introduced a new law - that a party vote is valid even if you have moved constituencies.

"Labour did this because they think it will give them what's known as the drifter vote. In fact, the labourer who drifts from area to area is a myth. This new rule will be of most benefit to the most mobile voters - the young graduates who are overseas.

"The next problem for overseas voters has been physically getting hold of a copy of a ballot paper. This election, for the first time, it is possible to get ballot papers electronically, off the internet.

"ACT believes the new enrolment laws could result in a ten-fold increase in the overseas vote.

"In the last election, ACT received 12.8 percent of the overseas vote. Indeed, as a percentage of ACT's total vote, the overseas vote for ACT was more than twice as high as any other party. Put another way, an increase in the overseas vote will benefit ACT more than any other party.

"We are using all of our resources to contact the overseas voters, including the worldwide web. ACT has been planning this some time and we have massively invested in electronic communication - e-politics.

"ACT has the best website and we receive up to one million hits a month - not every month, and of course that's not one million people.

Last month, ACT's website received 290,000 hits from overseas, including 13,200 from Australia and 9200 from the UK.

"We are going to use our web site to reach young voters and advise them that they can vote electronically.

"ACT is also running an email campaign. We have over 1000 overseas email addresses. We plan to expand this. ACT has a further 30,000 email addresses registered with us as supporters. Most of those people have, like myself, two adult children in London or know of the email address of a New Zealander overseas.

"ACT believes that we can contact by email over 100,000 overseas New Zealanders.

"The party has decided that we need to send ACT MPs overseas - to Australia, Hong Kong and United Kingdom. Australia, because that's where most Kiwis are. Eighty-eight thousand Kiwis have left for Australia under this government.

"Hong Kong is interesting. The number of New Zealand-Hong Kong residents who have left this country permanently is not great, but the number who are in Hong Kong temporarily is very significant.

"ACT is the leading party of preference for new residents from Hong Kong - because they recognise ACT as having the same values - hard work, thrift and personal responsibility. A significant number of Hong Kong/New Zealanders live in both countries.

"The United Kingdom is especially important to ACT. Thirty-six thousand New Zealanders have left to live in the UK under this government.

"ACT MP Stephen Franks is, as we speak, on his way to Australia, via Hamilton. And I am going to Hong Kong next week for just 48 hours - long enough to contact Hong Kong-New Zealanders there. Both trips are paid for privately.

"Stephen will meet with ACT's Sydney branch. I will spread the message that New Zealand residents who are back in Hong Kong can vote.

"ACT is also going to send our deputy leader, Ken Shirley, to the United Kingdom for at least a week during the campaign. Ken is paying for his own trip.

"ACT will send other MPs to Australia during the campaign itself, should we deem it necessary. We believe that our overseas vote is ACT's secret weapon. The young people who signed Richard Poole's famous advertisement feel like exiles.

"They support ACT's message of freedom and personal responsibility, of rewarding hard work, thrift and enterprise," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news