Over ACTing

‘Any publicity is good publicity’ is being tested by the ACT Party.

They announced their party list in the weekend. Number 2 was Beth Houlbrooke. She promoted herself on Facebook:

I am proud to announce I have just been named as the new Deputy Leader and No. 2 list candidate for ACT NZ.

The party seems to be using her to stir up some controversy, quoting her saying “The fact is, parents who cannot afford to have children should not be having them.”

That the party repeated it suggests it is a deliberately strategy to stir things up to attract attention.

While any prospective parent should consider how well they could care for any children, including financially, this is a very crude dog whistle from ACT.

There are genuine issues that should be debated regarding state support of parents. Labour has just promised a generous per baby handout.

There is anecdotal claims that some young people look at motherhood as a sort of (perceived to be easy until they get there) career choice. There are certainly potential issues with offering financial incentives to have babies.

But I think that ACT have handled this poorly and cynically. And insensitively, there are a number of reasons why parents, especially solo parents, can find themselves struggling financially.

It might attract fleeting attention but is unlikely to attract many votes, and is at least as likely to repel potential voters.



  1. Corky

     /  July 12, 2017

    ACT need to work out who they are- Libertarian or Socialist? At the moment they are deluded Libertarians practising socialism.,

  2. And there are genuine abuses of welfare entitlements…. good on ACT for saying it out loud

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  July 12, 2017

    Some parents want the liberty to have as many children as they like as long as the state is there as a backup.

  4. Tipene

     /  July 12, 2017

    “The fact is, parents who cannot afford to have children should not be having them.”

    This is true – remove the political filter, and it matters not who said it.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 12, 2017

    It’s a sad commentary on personal responsibility that “You breed ’em, you feed ’em” is now considered offensive.

  6. valanion

     /  July 12, 2017

    I actually come from a background of 175 years in New Zealand and when I see these kind of comments it saddens me has it come to the place in New Zealand where we decide you can hand there genetics and who cant I do not want to live in Nazi NZ and I sure most you dont, But under Act that is what you will get. Donald Trumps USA is where we would head to under Act and I know that most on NZ does not want that.

  7. Fergus

     /  July 13, 2017

    Nonsense. What she is saying is if you are already poor then stop breeding. What’s wrong with that?
    If you are accidentally poor with children that’s fine but too many of these people then think their way out is to have another child. Most people with any common sense would not dream of having more children than they could afford and examples of a low income uneducated worker with 3,4 or even 6 kids are too prevalent.