Act and board member part company

By Mike Houlahan

An Act party board member has resigned, claiming party leader Rodney Hide has been lured away from Act's core values.

Central region board member Andrew Fulford was only elected to the party's board in March. However, he said in that short time he had come to realise he would not be able to effect any change in Act's direction or philosophy.

"That was something I grappled with before resigning," Mr Fulford said.

"There were a number of us [who stood for the board] that were concerned about Act's direction. Unfortunately that concern didn't manifest itself fully around the board table in terms of numbers ... there was no way it was going to change unless there was a wholesale slaughter in terms of people changing positions and things like that. I can't see that happening"

Mr Fulford said he was a supporter of party founder Sir Roger Douglas' policies, but the party was dominated and encumbered by a libertarian wing.

"Act have gone off the rails, and that libertarian faction has become the predominating power in Act," Mr Fulford said.

"It's quite weird in a sense. Rodney used to be a fantastic proponent of original Act policy ...

he could espouse those values and that philosophy and policy better than anybody but in the last few years, for some reason, he's been caught up in this libertarianism-type outlook."

He said the board "Has become a glorified electorate organisation there to assist Rodney in retaining his electorate presence in Parliament".

"This should not be the case.

"The party is on its knees facing political oblivion and needs strong and decisive leadership from the board of trustees in philosophically reforming the party. Without this the board is merely the puppet of the small and irrelevant caucus."

In March this year, Act elected Hamilton businessman Garry Mallett, regarded as a Douglas supporter, as board chairman. Mr Mallett is overseas and could not be contacted.

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