Damien Smith, the Act Party’s candidate in the Botany electorate at this year’s general election, says he wanted to stand in Botany because this community’s transport network needs more investment and someone has to advocate for it to get stuff done.
“The Act Party is about reducing regulation and reforming the RMA so people can get on and make things happen; Governments should get out of the way.
“At the moment it’s such a blur of red tape and people don’t think they’re getting value for money when it comes to local services.”
Smith, a former business banker who’s worked for companies including the Virgin Group and ASB Bank, runs his own consulting business and has clients in East Tamaki and Highbrook.
He says the Act Party wants to implement a “flatter, fairer” tax system, so “every wage earner gets more money in their back pocket, which we believe will stimulate the economy”.
And he wants to see greater diversity of skills and experience represented in Parliament.
“There’s not that many business people there. There’s a gap between the doers and the talkers.
“We need to get people with diverse skills in Parliament, whether they’re engineers or farmers or small-business people.
“That’s why Act has 50 candidates who are really practical people. They’re not career politicians.”
Smith is campaigning on messages around creating jobs and building a stronger economy, improving law and order and local transport infrastructure, ensuring school pupils receive a high quality education and reducing government bureaucracy.
He says its vital New Zealand has a change of government and a strong party vote result for Act can help to make that happen.
“We have a choice between a government which believes in heavily taxing people and blowing out debt versus a more practical approach.
“We will put a more practical economic plan in place. This government hasn’t delivered
“They’ve hardly built any houses and the economy was slowly tanking even before Covid-19. They’re good at talking but they aren’t good at executing.”