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Richard Prebble’s The Letter

Richard Prebble’s The Letter


Only 9 votes separate Rodney Hide and Stephen Franks in The Letter readers’ poll for the ACT leadership. In a low poll, Ken Shirley received 75 votes, Muriel Newman, who only announced her candidacy on Monday, received 102 votes, Stephen 203, and Rodney 226. After preferences were distributed Stephen received 279 votes and Rodney 288. Thousands can vote in The Letter’s readers’ polls. It seems readers have not decided on who to support and any of the candidates could win. The primary campaign will decide the race. See for details of forthcoming candidate meetings. The first meeting is: 6:30 pm, 17 May at Bentley’s Hotel, St Andrews Street, Dunedin.

The Letter has invited each candidate this week to contribute a column.


I am seeking the party leadership because I believe I can uniquely retain the unity and direction of the ACT parliamentary team. I can provide strong and effective leadership without suppressing the individual talents within.

The challenges and opportunities for the ACT Party have never been greater. It is important that we present with a new fresh style and tone. The Left is floundering. Don Brash’s whirlwind has swept ACT’s policies into the spotlight.

The centre-right should win the next election. ACT has been the pathfinder of this new direction. With an MMP Parliament we have a critical role to play in keeping the ship of state on the Right course.

I passionately believe in ACT’s core values of freedom and choice and can be trusted to adhere to those beliefs. I want to see a prosperous New Zealand based on achievement values. Hard work, excellence and thrift should be encouraged and rewarded, not punished. We should strive for excellence in all endeavours but never lose our compassion for those in genuine need of our help.

I have extensive parliamentary and leadership experience having served as a government minister and acting party leader. I ask for your support.


The leadership of a political party is about more than a face - it's about vision, building a team and commitment. Most people believe NZ can be a world leader again - I know we can. Rightly or wrongly ACT is perceived as lacking compassion: a hard-nosed blokes’ party. ACT needs to broaden its appeal. My experiences of growing up in a poor family, being a solo mum on welfare, teaching, farming, and becoming a business leader, has shaped my inclusive leadership style. An ability to maximise human potential and build bridges is the essence of MMP. As the party of new ideas, ACT has led NZ’s political debate. Within 100 days of becoming leader I will revitalise the debate by launching a series of key policy initiatives in welfare reform, lifting living standards, reducing crime, and improving education and health. These ideas will shape New Zealand's future. ACT has the solutions; it

By standing down as leader, Richard has recognised the need for a change in leadership style. More of the same is not an option.

For more information link to


ACT must succeed to ensure that Prime Minister Don Brash doesn’t have to compromise. For ACT to succeed, I need you to vote for me to lead ACT into the next election.

Vision – My vision is for a free and prosperous NZ. A successful leader must be able to articulate a vision for the country and explain what we must do to achieve it. I can do that.

Build support – ACT must broaden its appeal to hardworking taxpayers who get a rotten deal from government. The leader must be able to campaign well and be able to reach out to people. I can do that.

Work with Don Brash – The next leader of ACT must work well with Don Brash. I have been a close friend of Don for years. The next leader of ACT must work well with National while maintaining our separate political identity. I can do that.

Win a seat - The next leader of ACT must win an electorate seat. That secures the representation of ACT values and principles in our parliament. As leader, I can and will win the seat of Epsom. Please visit my campaign HQ at


We must judge character to get leadership we can trust.

ACT’s founding difference from other political parties was not our vision of freedom and personal responsibility (and prosperity). Most politicians can mouth those words. The differences lay in our fresh and practical policies to get there, and the promise to put those values first. The leader must embody those priorities, privately and publicly. So ask, “In the long term, what character will the public attribute to the leader, and through the leader, the party?” Richard resigned to let ACT show a fresh face. The new leader must be that clean window on our parliamentary team, ensuring, and showing by what we do that we always mean what we say about our priorities. The leader must stand for fresh practical ideas, solutions to vital problems and not just bandaids for symptoms. People must feel that the leader is committed to much more than the political game’s routine carping and poin *demonstrated ability to lead when the choices are tough. *the capacity to bring out the best in the whole team, and *determination to leave ample media space for them.

HAVE A CUP OF TEA Richard Prebble's contribution to the foreshore debate was that it is all unnecessary. No court has yet made a final ruling. See for the speech.

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