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Hide Ducks Questions on ACT Leadership Coup

Hide Ducks Questions on ACT Leadership Coup

Reporting by Virginie Ribadeau Dumas
Images by Rory MacKinnon

ACT deputy leader Heather Roy was stripped of her position in a highly secretive caucus vote this morning.

Party leader Rodney Hide told reporters John Boscawen was elected as new deputy leader and given Roy’s ministerial positions but refused to say why she was rolled.

“This is a tough day for the ACT party and this is a tough day for Heather [Roy]. So I asked her to reflect on things and take a two-week break”, explained Hon Rodney Hide during a press conference held Tuesday afternoon.

“But it is much tougher on farmers, families and businesses that are having to carry such a big cost particularly with the trading scheme,” the leader of ACT New Zealand added.

A way to divert the attention from rumours that Associate Minister of Defence Heather Roy had been booted out the party leadership for having tried to take over Hide?

Officially there is no such thing.

During the press conference, Hide explained at length that the caucus had been gathered to make a vote on a seven-day notice, after John Boscawen lodged his challenge last Thursday. As a result of the vote, Boscawen was appointed Deputy leader in place of Roy.

Summarising the caucus outcomes, ACT leader explained that “John Boscawen will replace Heather Roy as Minister of Consumer Affairs. He will also take [his own] Associate Commerce portfolio, and I will be taking the Associate Education portfolio.”

He added that the party wishes to drop his involvement in the Associate Defence, which used to be Roy's portfolio, “to focus on core ACT issues, most notably Education.”

When asked about leadership challenge within the party, Hide refused to make any comment.

“I am not prepared to discuss what happened in caucus. What happens in caucus remains in caucus.” he repeated when asked to confirm or infirm rumours.

“Facts are these, John Boscawen put his hand up to become deputy leader and this required a vote”, he hammered, denying any other reasons for this party meeting.

John Boscawen made it clear. “It was my decision and my decision only to challenge deputy leader last Thursday”.

“My idea”, he repeated, claiming to have discussed the issue with “all members of the caucus.”

When asked details about Heather Roy, her emotional state or her future in the party, Hide contended himself to explaining that this was a “tough day” for a “tough lady”.

“Heather Roy has made a valuable contribution to the ACT Party over many years and I sincerely hope that this will continue”, he said.

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