ACT Party list defector

Party list announcements can be fraught affairs. Not everyone’s ambitions can be satisfied. And so it has happened over ACT’s party list.

NZ Herald: Act Party deputy Kenneth Wang resigns over list ranking, party direction

Act Party stalwart and deputy leader Kenneth Wang has pulled out of the party list and resigned as deputy leader just hours before its line-up of candidates for the election was due to be announced.

Wang said his decision was partly because of the place he was given on the list, but also because the party had moved away from policies that attracted him to it in the first place, including on tougher sentencing and ‘one law for all.’

Wang has been with Act since 2002 and was an MP between 2004 and 2005 after Donna Awatere Huata left. He was elected deputy leader in April 2014 and was second the party list in the last election.

His decision was “partially” because of where he was placed on the list – as the deputy leader he had expected to be second. “I told them I should be high or not on it at all. But they have different priorities.”

Act leader David Seymour said Wang had not expressed any unhappiness with the party’s direction until he withdrew.

I expect there will be more disappointment with individual placements on the list.

Wang said his decision was not a sign of no confidence in Seymour, but the party had changed under that leadership. “I think David has a new style and reflects a new generation.”

There also be general disappointment that one disgruntled person has pre-empted the announcement (that ACT has been talking up for a couple of days)  by going public with their disappointment in advance.

The party list will be released at 2pm. Seymour said of the top ten, the average age was 36 years old, half were women and they spoke about seven languages between them.

ACT Party list here.


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