ACT Party leader, David Seymour, addressed a public meeting at the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club last Sunday. The meeting was attended by more than 120 people.
Mr Seymour started off by saying he believes the government will change at next year’s central government election. He offered three reasons for his view. The first is the current Labour government’s failure to deliver on a raft of promises, from reducing child poverty to building more houses. To that can be added the inflationary effect of throwing money at challenges and problems without considering the consequences down the line. The second is the government losing its grip on what became known as the “Pacific Reset” by not allowing seasonal employees to enter New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic and by delaying tourism to the Pacific Islands longer than necessary. The discontent these policies created in the Pacific opened the door for other countries, most notably China, to pursue a stronger foothold in the region. Thirdly is the government’s failure to provide social cohesion since coming into office. According to Mr Seymour, almost every aspect of wellbeing was sacrificed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Seymour said that if the government isn’t changed next year, Australia will inevitably gain tens of thousand of highly skilled people they didn’t have to pay for to be educated.
Looking forward, Mr Seymour said New Zealand’s future prosperity lies in reward for effort, a thriving community and an inclusive community. He said businessowners and farmers are perceived as villains by the current government. They are burdened with excessive regulations and taxes, and there isn’t much of an incentive for anyone to try and get ahead in life. The central government bureaucracy grew from 47,000 in 2017 to 61,000 today without any noticeable improvement in service delivery. He said that reducing the number of government back office staff back to 2017 levels, will free up enough money to provide frontline teachers and nurses with meaningful wage increases.
With regard to thriving communities, Mr Seymour simply said New Zealand should strive to be a society where no child finds that the only prospect to get ahead in life is to become a member of the mob.
Talking about an inclusive society, Mr Seymour said New Zealand is the luckiest country on earth having a voluntary agreed founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, guaranteeing equality among all and the protection of assets. Agreeing that past violations of the Treaty have to be put right, he said that there are questions about the way concepts like “partnership” and “co-governance” are being approached with reference to the Treaty. After inviting the audience to read renowned scholar of Māori Studies and Anthropology, Dame Anne Salmond’s contributions to the Newsroom website (newsroom.co.nz) on “Te Tiriti and Democracy”, he said that New Zealand has the opportunity to be a world-leading, multi-ethnic liberal democracy where one person has one vote and where there’s a place for all.
Mr Seymour concluded his address by saying that a public referendum on co-governance is a key policy of the ACT Party.
Pictured: ACT Leader, David Seymour, who addressed a public meeting in Whitianga last Sunday.