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Statement From Hon Rodney Hide

Statement From Hon Rodney Hide

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I am immensely proud of the ACT Party.

ACT is the only party in New Zealand that stands consistently for individual freedom and personal responsibility.

For smaller and limited government.

For one law for all, with all New Zealanders treated equally in law regardless of their race or their beliefs.

ACT is the only party in New Zealand that consistently stands up for private property rights, free markets, choice and competition, low and flat tax.

ACT is the only party that has the policies needed to achieve a free and prosperous future for New Zealand.

I am very proud of ACT’s achievements.

It was ACT’s success in Epsom in 2008 that ensured the change of government. If ACT had not succeeded in Epsom, Helen Clark would still be Prime Minister.

It’s the feature of MMP that it took both National and ACT to succeed to make John Key Prime Minister. I am very proud of that.

I am proud of what ACT has achieved in government. We promised and delivered - and will continue to deliver - stable, centre right government.

We achieved our Three Strikes legislation making New Zealanders safer from the thugs and the bullies, the 2025 Taskforce provided the road map for New Zealand’s future prosperity, we successfully reformed the governance of our biggest city, our Regulatory Standards Bill slashes red tape and our Spending Cap Bill puts government on a much-needed diet.

But what ACT has achieved in government so far is not sufficient to reverse New Zealand’s relative decline or to return us to a society where Jack is as good as his master, no matter the colour of his skin.

This can only happen if ACT succeeds at this year’s election in greater numbers and so strengthen the John Key-led National government.

The future success of New Zealand depends critically on ACT’s success on November 26.

My entire focus since Don announced his bid to be ACT leader has been what’s best for ACT and to ensure, as we promised, continued support for the John Key-led government.

I have kept the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister fully briefed throughout.

I believe that Don Brash is the best person to lead ACT to success in this year’s election. I told the Prime Minister last night I rang Don this morning to tell him he has my support.

The process now is for Don to join the party. His membership will be accepted by the Board on Saturday. I have asked our whip John Boscawen to organise a caucus for Saturday where Don will have my full support to be leader, and the Board will reconvene that afternoon to ratify his leadership.

I must stress that ACT and National’s Confidence and Supply Agreement remains in force with the agreement of all parties including that of ACT’s new leader and there is no risk to the Government. It’s business as usual. The only change is that ACT will have a new leader to take it into the election and to lead it into the next government.

If you will allow me a minute just here at the end to say a few more words. It is a great honour and a privilege to be the Member of Parliament for Epsom, the people here have all been wonderful to me, I have been both proud and humbled to be the leader of the ACT Party, but there’s no doubt that the highest honour and greatest privilege has been to serve as a Minister in the John Key-led government.

John Key and Bill English have my respect and admiration. It’s the greatest honour and privilege to assist their leadership of our country as we have faced and continue to face such tough and challenging times.

I have always worked hard to the best of my abilities with the best of motives. I have always put the country first. I set high standards for myself. I have at times fallen short. I have always worked to put whatever mistake I have made right and not to repeat it!

Finally I would just like to thank all ACT members and supporters for their continued support and inspiration and to the people of Epsom who have welcomed me into their homes and their communities and for whom it is such a privilege to be their Representative in the wonderful and venerable institution our Parliament.

ENDS

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