web analytics

Will ACT vote against the Budget?

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, May 16th, 2011 - 42 comments
Categories: act, budget 2011, don brash, maori party - Tags:

Reading Don Brash’s letter to John Key and watching Roger Douglas on Q+A, I wonder if the Nats behind the takeover of ACT realised what they were unleashing. I’ve heard some talk that ACT won’t vote for Key’s Budget. Where would that leave Rodney Hide? Where would that leave the Maori Party? Could we see a snap election?

Hide, apart from the famous “do nothing” slip, has been a dedicated Key loyalist. That was, in no small part, the cause of ACT’s decline under his leadership. He subsumed ACT’s brand into National’s the way Jim Anderton has the Progressives’ into Labour’s.

Brash is an old man in a hurry. I can’t see him wasting time with the compromise of letting his party vote for a Budget that continues National’s reckless borrowing. I think there is a real chance he will order his MPs to vote against it.

What happens if ACT signals it will vote against the Budget?

First, Hide has to decide if he will stick with his party or keep his portfolios. I’m picking he would turncoat and back National. It’s not like he owes Brash anything.

But National plus Dunne plus Hide only equals 60, two short of a majority, which has to come from the Maori Party.

Would the Maori Party vote for a budget that delivers spending cuts for the many while keeping tax cuts for the rich? That would be slitting their own throats in the fight against the Mana Party.

If they had any sense, the Maori Party would vote against the Budget if ACT did, meaning Parliament wouldn’t have confidence in the government and a snap election would be triggered.

Still, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples arses are awfully comfortable in those heated limo seats.

Whether it gets to that point depends on whether Brash is just talk or is prepared to follow through on his beliefs to the hilt.


42 comments on “Will ACT vote against the Budget?”

  1. Carol 1

    Yes, this will show up how seriously oppositional Brash is to National.

  2. Will ACT vote against the Budget?


    • r0b 2.1

      Makes rather a mockery of all Brash’s posturing then doesn’t it.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Somewhat, but Brash isn’t in parliament.
        John Boscowan mentioned a standing order that says that a member of parliament cannot be directed by anyone outside parliament, only advised.

        • Pascal's bookie

          heh. And he supported Ridney, and Calvert’s the whip.


    • Treetop 2.2

      Can Act not vote at all?

      • Richard 2.2.1

        I think that “not voting” is the same as “voting against” in this instance. A majority of parliament needs to vote *for* the legislation. “Not voting” is “not voting for” the legislation.

        • Lanthanide

          Commonly called ‘abstention’.
          This is particularly clearly seen in the prostitution reform bill that was passed under conscience vote, that only needed a bare majority to pass. There were 120 MPs. 60 voted ‘for’, 59 ‘against’, and 1 abstention, and so it was passed into law.
          The abstention was from a National MP that represents the Indian community who were all outraged that he had abstained. If he’d voted against, the bill wouldn’t have passed.

    • ron 2.3

      Agreed. Non. Nyet. No. Why. Because the gutless pricks wouldn’t know a principle if it slapped them in the face.

  3. randalrandal 3

    reminds me of a whole lot of rats swimming towards a sinking ship!

  4. Is the confidence and supply agreement that National have with Act still valid?

    Key and Brash are both game players in the same team. What bothers me is what their real agendas are. Neither can be trusted. Neither are wanted.

  5. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    And that, in essence, is Act’s problem. It will not be able to garner real concessions to its policies because National will just be able to say: try to get Labour to coalesce with you.

    • Jum 5.1

      Wonderful way for Key to get Brash blamed for a snap election. That’s a perfect end for a Key/Brash partnership to control New Zealand’s ‘gold’; people don’t seem to get the fact that Brash is the end goal for Key.

      Brash is already getting a lot more votes for Act. New Zealand will be carved up between them. There are, sadly, a lot of New Zealanders who want people that are low paid and vulnerable to be left without any supports and able to be controlled re cheap labour. These highearning low-lifes want inequality in New Zealand, because it increases their business profits and or makes their everyday costs cheaper. It disappoints me greatly that I share my country with these vultures.

      Minimum wage will disappear as will any organized union or advocacy; for example, National Council of Women has lost its charitable status. Refuges are out the door. Abortion will be made illegal and pay equity will be filed under Case Closed. That destroys the supports for women’s rights and workers rights.

      The Maori party is being feted while public ownership over public land and private Maori land is being primed for exploitation. The joke is on The Maori Party; they think National and they are partners in the SOE-grab. NAct doesn’t share.

      All because the greedy, the misogynistic and the political illiterates voted this government in. That includes workers; what were they thinking?

  6. Samuel Hill 6

    If I was a National Party member I would want a snap election. No way are Mana/NZ First going to get enough traction in the next 2-3 months to get Labour/Greens over the line. 6 months however is a completely different story.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I hope John Key declares his lack of confidence in the All Blacks losing the RWC.

  7. mikesh 7

    Doesn’t the coalition agreement promise support on supply and confidence?

    • Richard 7.1

      Of course.

      So, not giving this support breaks said agreement. Which is fine. The government then needs to either rapidly negotiate a new agreement or go to the polls.

      The coalition partners are not compelled by law to keep the agreement.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      Yes. So this would be breaking their coalition agreement. Therefore, I don’t think Act will do it – the Maori Party had even more impetus to do this at the last budget when GST went up, and they didn’t.

  8. tc 8

    ‘Key and Brash are both game players in the same team. What bothers me is what their real agendas are…’

    discrediting and then abolishing MMP treetop that’s the real endgame for the hollow men.

    • Mac1 8.1

      No, getting rid of MMP allows parties to rule by themselves under first past the post. Then we would see the real agenda. Getting rid of MMP is a stage. Rule of the majority under FPP by the 40% right wing, the discrediting of democracy and the disengagement of 50% of the population from politics, as in the USA, follows.

      Then cometh the end times!

      • Treetop 8.1.1

        Had the Maori Party not been a coalition partner with National, Key would have had to make more concessions with Act. For some reason Key has always felt threatened by Act, if he wasn’t he would not of formed a coalition with the Maori Party.

  9. randal 9

    the real agenda is to sell off the soe’s to their mates and stag the share issue. get real dudes.

  10. James Callaghan 10

    Well, but why would a vote against National’s budget necessarily be interpreted by both parties as an open declaration of war. If National does have a hidden agenda, or some parts of National anyway, a fundmentalist Act would probably be quite beneficial for avoiding the responsibility for policy initiatives, while keeping up its ‘moderate’ appearances.

    What if the scenario involves Act threatening to vote against it, National holds Maori Party to ransom with the boogeyman alternative being an Act-National Govt. Once the deal is sealed, both National and Maori could claim the credits of saving the country from fundamentalists, while Act can vote for its principles to its heart’s content.

    • Treetop 10.1

      I doubt there is going to be a Maori Party after the election for Key to form a coalition with. Somehow Key has to appease Act, but Key cannot come across as being too radical either as Act’s policies are not what Key campaigned on in 2008.

      Even if the Maori Party survive and Key gets back in he will not take the Maori Party as a coalition partner. Act and National will then sell assests through privatisation and watch the shares go off shore within a few years.

      • Jum 10.1.1

        My question is always the same; what does Key get out of it? Or, is he paying his dues to those who helped him obtain his goals? Brash thinks he is god. Key has no belief system at all.

        • Treetop

          I think Key is paying his dues. Key is the front man and Brash is the behind the scene man. Another term of Key and this country will really know what a to the right government is, (ignorant and arrogant).

          • Jum


            And the rightwing baxtards will have stolen my children’s assets.

            They’re like vampires feeding off the young.

  11. Craig 11

    Sorry, guys. I think the Budget will still be passed, even if ACT either votes against it or abstains. The Maori Party will see this as an opportunity to demonstrate that it is a more reliable and constructive coalition partner to the Key administration than ACT, and talk up any ‘gains for Maori’ within the Budget as a result of their accomodation arrangement. In any case, look at Canada’s recent election and see what happens in the context of snap elections in the current economic climate- their Tories won a majority, remember.

  12. Josip Blow 12

    I think they would be making a mistake not to vote for it. I believe the easiest votes for ACT will come from Nat voters wanting a move a little to the right, those voters are not natural ACT voters but would support ACT having a increased, but nevertheless limited level of influence over National. By voting against the budget it may well scare those voters off.

  13. Craig 13

    I daresay it would have that effect, Josie. I wonder if ACT’s ‘infantile ultrarightism’ will end up boomeranging on it?

  14. If the budget were defeated, we’d be looking at snap election. NO WAY could the MMP referendum proceed.

    There won’t be a snap election….not unless the Maori Party also votes against the Budget…and though I can see reasons why they might want to, I doubt they would.

    A snap election over a defeated Budget would be good….provided the MMP referendum was canned.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Well, if Act keep to any of their principles (especially the ones about transparent/honest budgets), then they won’t be voting for this budget as it appears National have delayed giving it until after the election.

    Report from Key’s presser today :-

    Targets for individual agencies would be finalised after the Budget and it would then be up to chief executives to identify how to meet them.

    I’m not sure if the mP has indicated that they have any such principles but their actions to date indicate that they don’t.

  16. mikesh 16

    But if ACT voted against the budget this would represent not a four vote swing but an eight vote swing. Presumably this would sink it. ACT would have to be content with merely abstaining if they didn’t want to sink the government.

  17. Does anybody in their right mind believe all this waffle and double talk form the political right. It’s all planned by Crosby -Textor as a way of getting all the Right vote out. The Brash letter will get the Red-Necks out in force whilst the Conservatives who are not so Right will vote for smilling John and his flappers. The Blue Rinses will chuckle and look down their noses and vote for their lovely John, and unless we on the Left can find someway of getting the Labour vote out we are doomed to see our country sold out completely . One would think that in 2011 most would see what a load of crafty bastards they are but thet never do!.

    • Treetop 17.1

      The youth vote is the vote which will make a difference due to their high unemployment. I could not see them voting National or Act either.

      Target the universities/polytechnics, candidates need to door knock in the homes of youth and to also make sure that youth are registered to vote.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    2 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    3 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    3 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    3 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    4 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    4 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    4 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    5 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    5 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    5 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    6 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    6 days ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    1 week ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    1 week ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago