National gives ACT consumer affairs

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, November 13th, 2008 - 37 comments
Categories: act, national/act government - Tags:

John Key’s got to be taking the piss with his decision to appoint ACT MP Heather Roy as Minister of Consumer Affairs in the new National/ACT government.

I guess it could have been worse (say, ACT in charge of Labour or Social Development) but you do have to wonder how the Consumer Guarantees Act and regulations protecting the public from unsafe products sit with ACT’s ‘Red Tape and Regulation Policy‘.

That’s the policy where they promise to take an axe to regulations they believe have “smothered productive people with red tape and bureaucracy” (that’s “most of them” according to the policy) and pass law to “make it harder for governments to pass bad regulations in future”.

This is because ACT’s strange libertarian ideology sees regulations as a threat to “freedom”; the freedom, that is, for businesses to do as they please without regulation and for the rest of us to take what we’re given.

It’ll be interesting to see whether John Key can keep ACT under control in the portfolio that makes sure we don’t get ripped off and that the products we buy for ourselves and our families are safe. Given his weak handling of Rodney over the last few days I don’t like his chances.

37 comments on “National gives ACT consumer affairs”

  1. MikeE 1

    You do realise ACT was the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers right….?

  2. Tane 2

    I also realise Kim Jong-il is the President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. So what?

  3. Tane, awesome. i’m just afraid that might go over MikeE’s head

  4. Akldnut 4

    Hahahaha….. LMAO @ Tane

  5. Tane – Best call this week.

    edit: oh and Garth McVicar is the head of the sensible sentencing trust…

  6. I also realise that Helen Clark is not the Prime Minister of NZ too Tane… what’s your point? You almost went down the Godwins track for a second there!

    [Tane: I’m sure you’re banned, but nevermind, I’m feeling charitable. Clearly not a Godwin bro, my point was to highlight the absurdity of taking literally the names that political organisations choose to give themselves for the purposes of PR. But it’s never quite as funny when you have to explain it…]

  7. tracey 7


    That may be one of the best retorts I’ve read this year

  8. toad 8

    Yes, that is a bit of a worry Tane – that, unlike her predecessor as Minister of Consumer Affairs, Heather Roy may actually do something in the portfolio!

  9. Clint – I think the point is that what a group names itself doesn’t necessarily reflect its true values. I see ACT is going to be neutered by National and the Maori Party too. I predict your gloating about “winning” will be voiced in castrato by the end of next year…

  10. toad 10

    And what’s next – David Garrett as Associate Minister of Justice outside Cabinet?

  11. Tigger 11

    Ugh. I’ve always loved how Roy is described “Wife, Mother, Physiotherapist, Soldier, MP.” It’s like the chorus from a Shania Twain song…

    I can so see a bunch of children going up in smoke as their unregulated flammable Chinese pjs catch fire.

  12. jtuckey 12

    You choose to disparage Heather Roy when the current Minister is Judith Tizzard ……… go figure ?

    Edit … oops I see Toad has already made the same point.

  13. tigger, also for a supposedly individualist party isn’t it incredible they lead her definition with ‘wife’

  14. I can so see a bunch of children going up in smoke as their unregulated flammable Chinese pjs catch fire.

    Look Tigger – kids burning in their PJs will send a market signal by discouraging the further purchase of said pajamas and ensure that flammability-issues are dealt with in an efficient and non-bureaucratic manner…

    Besides, the kid’s’ll have private hospitals to look after them… What’s your problem???

  15. The Association of Consumers and Taxpayers is actually a separate organisation (and always has been) and was formed off the back of Douglas’s book Unfinished Business (1993). ACT was formed in 1994 as the political wing after the introduction of MMP was confirmed.

    The more interesting point to note about Roy’s impending appointment is that ACT has been palmed off with something fairly “cheap”. The fact that Judith Tizard was given the job for the last three years emphasises this.

    A cheap portfolio for Heather Roy suggests that the pay-off for Hide may be fairly substantial, or that negotiated policy gains are large.

    Douglas to Dancing – ACT Watch

  16. Dave 16

    Must be a pisstake, surely? I just think that in order for John Key to get a next term, he has to do as little as possible and keep all these squabbling factions at bay, just take credit for Helen and Michael’s hard work…

    Let’s watch him age 10 years in the next six months 🙂

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    Tane, after what’s going on in Auckland, i’d also like to point out that the council ticket was ‘citizens and ratepayers’ (clearly more worried about the latter than the former). But yours was far, far funnier.

    P.s. look at the time stamp – two minutes! Someone’s had too much coffee.

    P.p.s. this looks like a recipe for disaster. Melamine II anyone?

  18. Well it is no surprise that you are not giving Heather a chance already… and she hasn’t even started the job yet. Please tell me this isn’t the tone for your years in opposition? All that gracious talk after the election surely wasn’t made up was it?

    [lprent: I think that you’re making up your stories. If you read my comments on the day after you’d know exactly what I thought. I wasn’t ‘gracious’, I also wasn’t disparaging, I just got on with blogging. Can’t think of a good reason to give a politician an inch. Besides Heather has always looked more than a bit of a loon from her press releases.]

  19. Tane 19

    I never talked about graciousness after the election. I want those Tory bastards out.

  20. Stephen 20

    Clint, what would you want to see from Heather in this role? Most people would see this role as a ‘consumer protection’ one – as has been said, how does this fit with ACT’s…’hands off’ approach?

  21. But…But…but Tane – aren’t we all supposed to give Key a honeymoon??? Poor John, you’re being so unfair!!!

  22. QoT 22

    Yeah, Tane, we’re supposed to be giving That Nice Mr Key a break! After all, he has no governmental experience, it’s a fresh start, time to settle in, not that any of those things stopped him running for the damn job or anything.

  23. Tane 23

    Yeah, I know, I know. What do you guys reckon is a fair honeymoon period? Six months? A year? A full term? Or just for the first 100 days while he rams through all the really unpopular stuff?

  24. bill brown 24

    Consumer, protect thy self?

  25. Quoth the Raven 25

    Graciousness? May I kiss your hand sire. Step all over me. What a blessing. Come your highness they await you. Bow to your new masters….

  26. bobo 26

    Does this open the door again on a possible merger between Qantas & Air NZ , does the commerce commission come under this portfolio ? I think the aussie CC rejected the merger anyway.

  27. Lampie 27

    here Rodnie, Minister of Fashion

  28. Vinsin 28

    Lampie, I just threw up in my hand after reading your comment.

  29. “MikeE

    You do realise ACT was the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers right .?”

    I thought it was the association of C&@ts and Thieves, but I probably shouldn’t use that kind of language around here!

    [lprent: it usually isn’t that wise. We don’t tend to moderate language per se, but it does draw our interest]

  30. Lampie 30

    Think many a people did in Newmarket too Vinsin lol

  31. randal 31

    well I am a conusmer and I demand an affair right away

  32. Phil 32

    Consumer, protect thy self?

    Caveat Emptor – let the buyer beware. (there’s an election joke in there somewhere)

    Randal, words fail me.

  33. anybody know where she stands on prices.. inflationary or..? OR a case of dont ask dont tell..

  34. Vinsin 34

    Considering Act pride themselves on a hands off approach to business i would imagine she’d side with the latter part of your comment Northpaw.

  35. Tigger 35

    SP – indeed! I mean, how hard is it to get married. Well, unless you’re gay of course… 🙂

    I see her second greatest achievement is mother. Hope she doesn’t mind when her kids keel over from all the lead in imported, unregulated toys…

    Also, ‘soldier’? Are we meant to think that makes her badass? I see her involvement as a ‘soldier’ is this:
    “she is in the engineering corps of 5 Wellington West Coast Taranaki (WWCT) Battalion Group”.

    So she ‘soldiers’ for Taranaki? Look, I’m from the Naki originally. If someone wants to invade it by all means, go ahead!

  36. Oliver 36

    I watched the election with staff from the Ministry of Economic Development who actually jumped up clapping and cheering when they heard that Tizard was voted out.

    One small example as Minister of Consumer Affairs she rewrote legislation because she couldn’t get her favourite radio-station on Waiheke Island. Of course the new requirements meant that every car dealer had to rewrite and reprint all their signage and information for selling cars at what cost.

  37. Rodel 37

    Are there any ZAP members or ex members in Mr Hide’s group of MPs? Does anyone know?

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