Focus NZ Party

Adam Bennett reports:

The latest attempt at giving farmers a presence in Parliament and a potential rival to Act on the political right is getting close to attracting enough members to register for next year’s election.

Looking at its policies, I’d say it is competing with NZ First.

The party, headed by Kerikeri farmer and businessman Ken Rintoul, was formed last year around a group of farmers opposed to big rate increases proposed by the Far North District Council.

Initially called the Rural Party when it formed in August, Mr Rintoul said the name was changed in November to reflect the large proportion of urban businesspeople among the 180 members it had at that point.

Now the party has over 400 members, not far off the 500 required to register with the Electoral Commission.

You need around 100,000 votes to get into Parliament. Getting 500 members is a very low threshold to register. Some parties end up with fewer votes than members.

Like Act, Focus NZ wants to cut taxes, but not in all areas: it wants to introduce a new tax on international financial transactions.

Also unlike Act, it is opposed to asset sales.

Oh God, they support an FTT. A cross between NZ First and Social Credit.

I predict they will fail to make even 1%. Here’s the history under MMP of new parties that don’t have an existing MP already in Parliament, with their best results:

  • 99 MPs 0.03%
  • ACT 7.14%
  • Advance NZ 0.05%
  • Animals First 0.17%
  • Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis 1.66%
  • Asia Pacific United 0.02%
  • Bill & Ben 0.56%
  • Christian Heritage 2.38%
  • Christian Coalition 4.33%
  • Conservative 2.65%
  • Democrats for Social Credit 0.08%
  • Destiny 0.62%
  • Direct Democracy 0.03%
  • Ethnic Minority 0.12%
  • Family Party 0.35%
  • Family Rights 0.05%
  • Freedom 0.02%
  • Future NZ 1.12%
  • Green Society 0.11%
  • Kiwi Party 0.54%
  • Libertarianz 0.29%
  • Mana Maori 0.25%
  • Mauri Pacific 0.19%
  • McGillycuddy Serious 0.29%
  • Natural Law 0.15%
  • NMP 0.05%
  • NZ Conservative 0.07%
  • NZ Super & Youth 0.06%
  • One NZ 0.09%
  • Outdoor Recreation 1.28%
  • Pacific Party 0.37%
  • People’s Choice 0.02%
  • Progressive Greens 0.26%
  • RAM 0.02%
  • Republic of NZ Party 0.02%
  • South Island 0.14%
  • Te Tawharau 0.02%
  • Workers Party 0.04%

So of those 38 parties, only ACT have made it in. 31 parties have failed to make even 1% and six parties made 1%. Of those six, four were effectively Christian parties, plus ALCP and Outdoor Recreation.

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