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Vote for Change, Vote ACT

Vote for Change, Vote ACT

Rodney Hide
Thursday, 30 June 2005
Speeches - Taxation

Speech to St John’s Rotary, Remuera Golf Club, Thursday 30 June 2005, 7am

There’s a simple reason why you should vote ACT this election: To save the nation from Labour’s agenda to socialise New Zealand.

To protect us all from Helen Clark’s blind determination to create a nation where we are all dependent on the government for handouts administered by an ever-growing bureaucracy.

Give her one more term and she’ll finish the job.

An Orwellian state where anyone who seeks financial or intellectual independence is quickly whipped back into line by Inland Revenue or the Politically Correct Thought Police.

Thankfully, the truth is starting to dawn on thinking New Zealanders.

The real Helen Clark has been revealed as a control freak, devoid of humour and unable to take any form of criticism. Revealed as presiding over a Labour Government that is unprecedented in its willingness to switch policy at the slightest hint from a focus group.

This has been lauded as somehow commendably pragmatic by a craven media.

Fortunately, the New Zealand public are now seeing it for what it really is.

Unprincipled political opportunism.

That public awakening is the good news

The rather worrying downside is a touchingly naïve belief that National are somehow the answer.

The cold hard facts tell a rather different story.

National has failed in opposition to hold Labour to account. That has been left to ACT.
ACT alone has kept Labour in check for the past six years while National sat back and watched from the sidelines.

ACT has exposed Helen Clark for what she is.

The reasons cited by commentators for the Teflon being scraped off Helen Clark are the issues raised by ACT alone.

Proof of our success can be found in the endless attacks on us from Clark and her Ministers.

You don’t hear her attacking the Greens or United Future or the NZ First party.
Of course not. They have been busy propping up her minority government.

Let no one forget. Clark only rules because those parties support her for their own self-serving interests.

Further proof of ACT’s success can be found in our policies being adopted by Labour and National.

ACT led the charge on race-based preferences.

A stand initially branded as racist by both Labour and National. Then the focus groups reported back. First National and then Labour found themselves supporting the very policies and principles espoused by ACT for years.

ACT led the charge for tax cuts.

The cries from both Labour and National were predictable. Not possible. Irresponsible.
Finally though the sheer compelling logic of our argument began to gain traction. Not that either Labour or National were able to truly bite the bullet.

First there was Cullen with the tax cut you have when you’re not having a tax cut. And we still haven’t heard from Don Brash. The tax cut that should be a no-brainer for National is getting rid of Labour’s 39 per cent envy tax. It was wrong when Labour introduced it. It’s wrong now. But still we haven’t heard from National on this tax.

And so it goes on.

ACT led the charge for welfare reform.

ACT led the charge on zero tolerance for crime and truth in sentencing.

ACT led the charge for education standards and school choice.

In each area ACT has detailed policies that add up to a coherent plan for making New Zealand a freer, more prosperous, more secure and more caring country.

And now the other political parties are mouthing all of ACT’s policies – without exception.
That’s because ACT’s policies are workable, make sense and have gained acceptance.

The simple truth is that ACT has led the charge on every single social and economic change for the past three years.

Of course, talking acceptance of our policies is one thing. Putting them into practice is quite another.

And this is where ACT really comes into play.

We all understand why Labour doesn’t adopt ACT’s policies. They are socialists. They want power and control. ACT’s policies of individual freedom and personal responsibility are an anathema to Labour.

National is more interesting. ACT’s President welcomed Don Brash to our South Island Regional Conference as our tenth MP. And he was.

But National is a conservative, pragmatic party.

Its hunger is for power, not change.

National’s objection to Labour is not what they do but that they are the ones doing it.

National opposes the Labour Government but not their policies.

New Zealand’s anti-nuke legislation was to be gone by lunchtime, now it’s staying for dinner and the night.

The Cullen Fund for Don was “financial smoke and mirrors,” now it’s here to stay.

Substantial tax cuts were promised by Christmas, now they are to be next year, modest, phased in, and still unannounced.

Don’s welfare policy is in tatters.

The policy of no automatic extra payment for extra children on the DPB is gone.

The policy of part-time work for solo parents once they have been on the benefit for five years and full-time once they have been on it for 14 years is gone.

The bold policy for welfare reform is gone.

Without ACT, National is left with the words but not the policy.

That’s why you should give your Party Vote to ACT:

In ACT we match our words with our policies and our policies with action.

National is busy backing away from all the policies Don Brash has promised.

Imagine what they would be like in government.

Unless of course they had ACT standing beside them, providing the proverbial backbone.

Right now there is a suggestion that NZ First might be that coalition partner.

Ah yes. Winston Peters.

Can anyone honestly put up their hand and declare they know of a single policy this man stands for.

We know he doesn’t like Asians

But, apart from that, what does Winston Peters stand for.

Yet, would you believe it? National is again entertaining the idea of Winston back in coalition. And this is a man whose spending promises are too extravagant even for Labour.

Forget about tax cuts if Winston Peters is in power.

Under MMP you don’t necessarily get the policies that you vote for.

But. And this is a huge BUT. You do get the party that you vote for.

That’s why you should give your Party Vote to ACT.

There is a big mood for change in the country. But it’s not just for a change in government.

It’s for a change of direction.

There’s only one way to achieve that change of direction – and that’s Party Vote ACT.

ACT has the plan for cutting taxes and reforming welfare.

ACT has the plan getting our health system to work.

ACT has the plan for putting standards and choice back into education.

ACT has the plan to make our streets, our homes and our places of work safe.

National on its own can’t change the government – or our country’s direction.

Hooked up with New Zealand First, National certainly can’t effect change for the better of New Zealand.

That’s why the only way to ensure a change of direction is to give your Party Vote to ACT.

That way you are voting for a party that stands up for free enterprise, individual freedom, and personal responsibility. And a party that backs its philosophy with policies and action.
And a party that has consistently stood for those policies.

It’s crucial that freedom have a strong voice in our Parliament. That voice is ACT’s.

Here in Epsom, the voters can make a real difference to the outcome of this year’s election.

Epsom has always been ACT’s highest polling electorate. In return, ACT has always tried to represent the interests of all people in Epsom. I have had an office in Epsom for six years.
This is my political home and base.

It’s been my great pleasure and privilege to serve the people of Epsom.

This election I will be contesting to win the seat of Epsom. It’s a two-horse race. I chopped a 20,000 vote majority down to 2,000 votes when I contested the seat in 1999.

Once again, ACT will be giving Epsom voters a real choice. Epsom has been a seat long taken for granted by National. No longer.

Epsom voters are now in a position to determine how this country is governed.

Epsom can quite literally determine the future course for New Zealand.

The people of Epsom have the power to decide whether we get meaningful tax cuts.

Epsom voters can determine whether racially based policies are scrapped.

Epsom can, with a single tick, put more police on the beat and criminals in jail - for the entire sentence.

Epsom can end bureaucratic waste.

Epsom can ensure our children get the education they deserve and our nation needs.

In short, Epsom can ensure that ACT’s policies – the policies National claims to support – become a reality.

That won’t happen if National has to cut a deal with NZ First.

And Epsom voters can have their cake and eat it too.

National’s Richard Worth is number 16 on National’s list. He’s in Parliament guaranteed.

My position is more precarious. For ACT to make it to Parliament we must secure 5 per cent or more the Party Vote or win the seat of Epsom.

Epsom voters will have Richard Worth whether or not they vote for him.

They can’t make a difference by voting for him.

But they can make a big difference by voting for Rodney Hide.

They can ensure with their vote that both Rodney Hide and the ACT party make it back to Parliament.

That’s how Epsom voters can make such a difference this election.

That’s not bad for just one vote!

But I want Epsom voters to vote for me not just for strategic reasons.

I want Epsom voters to vote for me because I am the best MP.

I have always been an achiever and I have worked hard in Parliament and in Epsom to achieve the best for the people of New Zealand.

I have always regarded being in Parliament a great privilege and honour. I have worked hard to represent the views of New Zealanders in Parliament.

And I’m not there just to raise the big issues. I take the concerns of individual constituents seriously too.

There is no joy in being confronted by a young family at their wits’ end but equally there is enormous satisfaction to be had from changing their lives around.

As your MP I can help individuals with their problems.

As the leader of a team of ACT MPs I can help change every New Zealander’s life for the better.

The people of Epsom have it in their power to make that happen.

There is no more humbling thought than that.

Thank you.


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