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ACT For Your Party Vote! -- Rodney Hide

ACT For Your Party Vote!

Monday 24 Jun 2002

Rodney Hide

7.45pm, 24 June 2002

Candidate Selection Speech

Epsom

St Pauls Methodist Church Parish Lounge, 12 St Vincent Avenue, AUCKLAND

There's only one way to return ACT to Parliament this election -- give your party vote to ACT.

The ACT party is not contesting any electorate seats this election. We are campaigning only for the party vote.

We are in a special ACT seat tonight. I am honoured to be the candidate. The Epsom electorate has been kind to ACT and has for two elections returned the highest party vote for ACT of any electorate in the country. The ACT Epsom team are keen to continue that success.

This election we have the support of National Party's President. Michelle Boag was relieved to learn that I would not be contesting the seat of Epsom this election. She said last week that she understands National party voters in return giving their party vote to ACT. "That's quite understandable for people who are keen to maximise the vote for the Centre Right," she said. The message is clear. ACT is the only partner for National. We need the party vote to remain in Parliament.

Epsom voters were especially kind to me last election with 10,500 voting for me. We came within a whisker of taking the seat. This election I am asking Epsom voters to vote for me by voting for ACT with their party vote.

I have had an electorate office in Remuera Road now for four years. With the ACT Epsom team we have been able to serve the voters of Epsom and, indeed, across Auckland well. Sometimes the office has looked like a branch of the IRD with hard working New Zealanders coming to me with problems that they are having with the tax department. I am pleased to say now that we are able to sort out most of the problems with a minimum of fuss as new IRD boss David Butler has established a proper complaints process. I take some pride in that and congratulate David Butler for the outstanding job he is done.

I will be keeping my office open after the election even though I will remain an ACT list MP. Epsom voters have supported ACT and I will continue to support them.

Epsom voters clearly respond well to ACT's philosophy of individual freedom and personal responsibility. They know that freedom drives prosperity. They don't like being bossed about by a nit picking government.

They know too that ACT has been the only effective opposition party this past three years. We have spoken out when others have remained silent. Epsom voters appreciate what ACT MPs have achieved standing up for the individual, for business, for the rights of people themselves to decide rather than always to be told what to do. They know the ACT party has proved a vigilant watchdog for the taxpayer dollar.

The issues for Epsom voters this election are health, education, the economy and personal security.

Epsom voters appreciate that ACT has consistently based its policies on the principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility.

In health we should be taking greater advantage of the private sector and the profit motive. No patient should wait beyond the recommended safe time for treatment. Where a public hospital can't provide treatment within the acceptable time, then ACT says the patient should be provided with that surgery, treatment or service from the private sector. It's stupid to leave people queued up on waiting lists when the very treatment needed could be delivered by the private sector for the same or even less cost.

In education, ACT believes the evidence shows that standards are falling. Standards without exams are meaningless. ACT alone was opposed to the replacement of School Certificate with the bureaucratic NCEA that is overwhelming teachers with paperwork, and disillusioning pupils because there are no marks to assess progress.

ACT will re-introduce nationwide exams, with marks, to ensure standards are maintained. ACT alone is stating that for quality education we must have a new way of fixing teachers' salaries so that good teachers are paid more.

Crime is of huge concern right through New Zealand and through the electorate of Epsom. Labour is soft on crime. They ignored the 92 percent of voters who said yes on the Norm Withers referendum to get tough on crime. ACT will implement the Norm Withers referendum to get tough on violent crime, with Truth-in-Sentencing to ensure offenders serve their full court-imposed sentence. ACT will also introduce a Zero Tolerance approach to policing, which in New York has reduced violent crime by 30 percent.

ACT's goal is to dramatically improve the personal security of the family - in the home, the streets and at work. The very first function of any government is to ensure personal security. Successive governments have failed us.

Thirty-eight percent of Epsom voters earn over $50,000 in income. That's the highest proportion for any electorate in the country. Epsom voters were whacked hard by Helen Clark increasing the top rate of tax to 39 cents in the dollar and they know it has been counterproductive to the economy.

ACT endorses the McLeod Tax Review recommendations. We are the only party backing these recommendations. We say that government should immediately:

· cut company tax to 28 percent - lower than Australia

· reduce personal income tax to just two rates - 28 percent and 18 percent, so giving every working person a tax cut.

This can be financed from the budget surplus and by canceling Dr Cullen's superannuation fund that won't create a single new job and wont make super more affordable.

Epsom voters recognise that ACT's policies are practical, commonsense.

ACT has a clear philosophy, clear policies and a clear message.

Give your party vote to ACT this election!


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