GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom



While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his time in a helicopter looking down on the city he once ruled wondering whether he might go to jail next month. The ‘new team’ running the show are a pair of libertarian true believers who were at their most impactful when explaining the philosophical case for legalised incest. The party registers .1% in a number of polls.

There is simply no doubt that ACT, left to put their case to the voters and to fight for their own continued survival, would be destroyed on September 20. As such the deal announced yesterday cannot just be seen as a nifty bit of political foot-work, or a clever tweak of the system. It is a calculated move to try and keep alive a party that would otherwise fail and die.

The ironies run deep. This is ACT, the party of self-reliance, pulling yourself up by your boot-straps, which pours baleful scorn on anyone seeking a ‘handout’. Yet here they are seeking and receiving the biggest handout of all – the gift of an electorate seat in our Parliament. The word hypocrisy doesn’t even touch the sides. There is a distinct possibility that the fundamental internalised inconsistencies of ACT will cause the fabric of the universe to tear around the ACT candidate the next time he tries to mount the case that he is campaigning on his own merits by knocking on 75,000 doors or whatever the number is this week.

Key made the announcement even more ludicrous by stating that he will not do that which he demands of other Epsom voters. Voting for the ACT candidate would potentially allow people to make ‘mischief’ and cause the Prime Minister embarrassment. He is on to something here. When I canvas around the electorate, embarrassment is the word that most commonly comes up to describe Epsom’s relationship with ACT. In 2011 Epsom did not really want ACT with only 2.5% of Epsom voters giving their Party vote to them. Banks was elected as a final chance for ACT to redeem itself, and because the John Banks of 2011 was still a relatively untarnished figure held in some affection by the electorate. Since then Epsom voters have been humiliated by the constant stream of scandal and weirdness that surrounds ACT. Many decent moderate, National voting conservatives do not want a bar of it again.

TDB Recommends

September 20 presents an opportunity for Epsom. The people of the electorate deserve better than a shabby deal to prop up a political corpse and it is in their power to take back their electorate. If it’s good enough for John Key to vote for the candidate of his choice, it’s good enough for the people of Epsom.


Michael Wood is the Labour candidate for Epsom. He is an elected member of the Puketapapa Local Board, with a background as a union negotiator and retail worker. As co-Secretary of the Labour Policy Council he has been involved in the development of Labour’s Policy Platform and Manifesto. He has two young boys, a super smart wife, and loves cricket and Pink Floyd.



  1. ACT the party is not being kept alive, its long dead.

    ACT the brand name, the façade, that legal entity which means you can put a candidate up in an electorate that gets National 2 MP’s for the price of one is what is being kept conveniently alive.

    It’s a massive “fuck you and your so called rules” one fingered salute to the electoral system!

    Go the rotten electorate of Epsom, you are the red light district of politics.

  2. So. The good guess is that he will see no prison time, if he has the blessing of our PM. Collins will likely instruct the judges to give him ‘diversion’ or nothing.

    That says it all really..And what happened to Dong Hua Liu? Did he get charged, and then get away with his domestic violence? Why don’t we talk to the woman involved here, and rescue her from his clutches.

    The uneducated (and ‘unlucky’) psychopaths are in prison, and the educated (and ‘lucky’) ones (like Key, Banks, Collins et al) roam free in our society, squandering our money, oppressing the oppressed, while trying to bankrupt our country in the name of their own personal financial gain.
    Psychos the lot of them!
    Be gone!!!

    Opinion and belief.

  3. Yes ,….Im sure the people of Epsom can do better than giving the oxygen tent to the Allied Corporate Treason party this election.

    …and Im sure their quite sick of being typecast as supporting nutcases like them and taking the blame for it as well…

  4. On a show on Radio Live (either Plunket or Mau/Jackson, I don’t recall) recently, Michelle Boag let drop the reality facing the National Party under MMP.

    According to Michelle, there is a natural centre-left majority in NZ so National has to do deals -rort the system-to have any chance of gaining power in the first place.

    I was actually stunned that Mike Williams didn’t jump on that admission, but then I regularly listen to Matthew Hooten running rings around him so I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised (sorry Mike).

    So the shame of the situation is that our centre-left majority is stuffing up so badly.

  5. I read that the National Ministers who are stepping down this year are making way for Act to get their votes from other electorates, untarnished electorates.

Comments are closed.