English ACT-ing Up
English ACT-ing Up
Tuesday 19 Nov 2002 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution
ACT New Zealand Justice and Treaty Spokesman Stephen Franks today welcomed National Leader Bill English's adoption of ACT New Zealand's stances and philosophies, but worried that the proof will be in how National politicians vote in practice, on the day-to-day detail.
"Will they vote against the race discrimination in this week's debate on the Trade Marks Bill, or against the nationalisation of the stock exchange in today's securities law debate?
"In his speech, One Standard of Citizenship - One Rule for All, to the New Zealand Institute of Directors today, Mr English gave a workmanlike rundown of ACT's stances on Treaty and local government issues - under a National banner.
"Mr English is, at last, taking National in the right direction, with arguments that have been ACT's backbone since our inception in 1995.
"ACT stands for individual freedom, choice and responsibility, and protection of the life, liberty and property of every citizen. ACT promotes political and economic freedom, strong families and communities, smaller government and empowerment of individuals - much like National...now.
"Mr English says Labour has lost its way on the Treaty. We were called racists for pointing that out when Doug Graham was in power. I also agree that justice does not, and should not, give some citizens rights that other citizens do not enjoy. In fact, I agree with Mr English so wholeheartedly that I have said the same thing over and over again for three years. The Government and the law should be colour-blind.
"It is gratifying to have the Opposition leader not only agreeing with our Treaty policy of full, fair and final settlement, but adopting it as his own.
"If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Mr English is trying to flatter ACT to death - in addition to his ACT line on the Treaty, he now echoes our worries about the Local Government Bill. This legislation would leave local politicians with the power to do anything with ratepayers' money that they think will win votes, including competing with ratepayers' own businesses.
"Last year, when then-Local Government Minister Sandra Lee proposed giving councils `powers of general competence', it took months for National to pick up on my caution that councils will massively abuse their powers.
"I thank Mr English for his comments and welcome National's support. I hope Mr English will carry it into consistent voting that is the only evidence it is more than rhetoric," Mr Franks said.
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.