John Banks: Speech notes for Media Conference
Hon John Banks CNZM, QSO
Leader, ACT New Zealand
4 December 2013
Speech notes for Media Conference
The High Court Decision
As I have said, anybody who knows me would not believe that I would knowingly file a false electoral return.
My focus and energy must be on serving the people of the Epsom electorate and working through the legal process to clear my name.
I will not be saying anything more about the case as the matter is before the Court.
The ACT Party
As leader of the ACT Party it is my duty to consider the best interests of my Party as we move into election year.
I am simply not able to dedicate all my energy and ability on returning ACT to Parliament in bigger numbers next year while fighting to clear my name.
I have therefore concluded that the interests of the ACT Party are best served by indicating today that I will not be seeking my Party’s nomination as the candidate for Epsom in 2014.
This allows ACT to select a new candidate to put before the people of Epsom for the next election. That candidate will have the maximum opportunity to apply their energy and ability on earning the confidence of the people of Epsom.
I will continue to serve as ACT Party Leader until our Annual Conference in early March where I will stand down.
This allows the ACT Party to look to a new Leader to take it into the election campaign next year. That Leader can focus on building a great team to put in front of New Zealanders and earn Party votes for ACT.
As I have said, until the election, I will continue to serve the Epsom electorate as the local MP to the best of my ability.
This announcement today does not affect the commitments made between National and ACT in our confidence and supply agreement.
The next election will be close.
Like last time, ACT and Epsom can make the difference.
I believe in a country where everybody has the freedom to achieve.
Whether New Zealand can be a more open, prosperous, and enterprising nation, with our focus firmly on the future, will depend in part on ACT succeeding.
I believe the decisions announced today help move us towards that success.