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Gavin Middleton: An ACTivist Vision For 2010

It gives me great pleasure to be here at the first ACTivists hui to be held in Christchurch. The last few days have seen the ACT party articulate a vision for closing the gaps between New Zealand and the rest of the world - for how we can become one of the world's top ten countries by the year 2010. To achieve the prosperity New Zealand deserves, we need ACT in Government. Because fourty percent of votes for ACT are cast by people under the age of 35, ACT needs the support of young New Zealanders to win the 2002 election and turn our vision into reality.

So what do ACTivists have to offer ACT's vision for 2010? What sort of society do we, as young New Zealanders, want to live in?

In a word, the ACTivist vision is freedom. ACTivists want New Zealand to be the freest country on earth - a place where our individual liberty is protected, individual autonomy recognised, individual responsibility expected and privilege abolished. ACTivists want to get the sticky fingers of government off our country's future and to take back control over our own lives. We have a vision of New Zealand that accepts and celebrates the spirits of enterprise and competition without bureaucrats smothering business with stupid regulations or politicians strangling commerce with high tax rates. We are here because we're sick of politicians squawking like parrots, forever finding new ways to spend other peoples' - taxpayers' - money. We believe that people can be trusted to make decisions for themselves, instead of the Left's implicit assumption that we're too stupid to be put in control of our lives.

And this is a vision that more and more young people are sharing. The left on campus is struggling for credibility while it's my prediction that membership numbers in ACTivists will double this year. I intend to continue guiding ACTivists forward, spending this year formulating policy, formalising our internal structure and preparing ourselves for the 2002 election - an election in which ACTivists will speak to more people and campaign more intensely than any youth wing in New Zealand ever has before.

Socialists on campus who cried triumph at the election of the Labour/Alliance Government are now desperately fighting a rearguard action to retain even the confidence of their core supporters. This Government has not delivered to students, and in classrooms across the country they feel betrayed and short-changed. The Left know very well that they face a crisis - and they know that the vision, the energy and the attitude of ACTivists are that crisis.

The Left knows they need new solutions to the problems of today, they know that their short-sighted 'Nanny Clark knows best' attitude is only making the crisis worse. The Alliance promised students the earth but has abandoned them in Government - frantically backing down and selling out their policies for a place on the back seat of a government limousine. The Green Party is more interested in returning farming to the romantic age - putting people in charge of GE-free organic herb gardens - than in trying to bridge the vast gaps between their policies and reality.

The Government is more interested in rewriting history than in looking to the future. Their policies are no more than windows into the past, with nothing to offer the New Zealand of tomorrow. These are the policies of pacifists and protestors, and belie a Government more interested in making society equal than in making it better. Instead of embracing the power of the world economy, the Government is doing its utmost to destroy relations with our neighbours and trading partners. Not only is Helen Clark still fighting the cold war, but she's siding with the Soviets. And then we have the likes of Phillida Bunkle and Marian Hobbs - Ministers with their trotters in the trough, burying their snouts in the public purse and feeding their egos on bundles of taxpayer cash.

After a year and a half of left-wing Government, hospital waiting lists are longer than ever and educational standards are in freefall. Government spends more of our money than ever before and still those on the Left maintain that one more funding round, one more handout, will provide the answers.

Common sense, however, tells us that uncovering the answers to New Zealand's problems requires much more than that. ACTivists intend to widen the debate on campus from the current socialist theories to include the values of freedom that only we represent. We offer to the ACT party our ideas and our vision - an ACTivist vision - for 2010.


For more information, contact:

Gavin Middleton (+64) (021) 505495 president@activists.org.nz http://www.activists.org.nz

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