Focus NZ Party

April 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

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 Focus NZ 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.

Focus NZ Party

December 1st, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Northland Bay Chronicle reports:

The country’s newest political party is hoping a name change will increase its support base.

The party with Far North origins has elected a board and adopted a name change from the NZ Rural Party to Focus NZ.

I doubt it. At least a rural party was something people would have some idea of by the name. No one will know what Focus NZ means.

Focus NZ is aimed at securing support from a broad sector of New Zealand and will contest the next general election as a list-only party.

The board has six vacancies, which are aimed to be filled as the party grows, and consists of six members including its Far North founders.

Former National Party candidate Ken Rintoul, a civil engineer, contractor and farmer; and regional councillor and farmer Joe Carr will continue their involvement and are joined by: former Federated Farmers Dairy chairman and primary industries commentator Lachlan McKenzie of Rotorua; former MP and under-secretary for agriculture and forestry and chairman of the primary industries select committee Ross Meurant, who now has business interests in aquaculture in the Middle East; former MP Sandra Goudie of Coromandel who is closely involved with a landowners rights network; and fashion designer and small business manufacturer Marina Koltsova, formerly an architect in Russia who now has New Zealand citizenship and lives in Auckland.

Actually Rintoul is not a former National Party candidate. He sought the nomination for National in 2011, but lost to Mike Sabin. The fact he is in another party just a year later speaks volumes.

For the 65 year old Meurant, this will be his 4th or 5th party. He has been National, Right of Centre, Conservative, NZ First and now this. He was sacked by Bolger for unethical conflicts of interest as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary.