Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Hide won't contest general election

Act Leader Don Brash speaks during the press conference. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Act Leader Don Brash speaks during the press conference. Photo / Mark Mitchell

New Act leader Don Brash says he will recommend Rodney Hide retain his ministerial portfolios until the election.

However its other minister John Boscawen will drop his portfolios and will not be replaced - meaning the party will continue with just one of its two ministerialships.

Mr Boscawen was appointed Act's deputy leader at a meeting this morning and will also lead the Act Party's Parliamentary team. Hillary Calvert was appointed the whip.

Dr Brash said Mr Hide had told him he would not contest the election this year. Mr Hide has previously refused to rule out seeking a list place or trying to retain the Epsom candidacy.

Dr Brash said Mr Hide was currently ushering some important pieces of legislation through Parliament as minister of local government and regulatory reform. It was important for Act that that work continued.

However Mr Boscawen needed to concentrate on his new role.

Mr Brash said he would make his recommendations on the ministerial posts to the Prime Minister when they meet this afternoon.

Mr Boscawen and Hillary Calvert were at the press conference but the other Act MPs were absent.

Dr Brash said the other three had other commitments.

Dr Brash said he was not concerned that Mr Hide would react badly if he was stripped of his portfolios. He said Mr Hide had voted for him as leader.

Dr Brash said the legislation Mr Hide was seeing through was from the 2025 Taskforce recommendations.

He chaired the Taskforce but said he had been advised it would be disbanded.

Dr Brash said the Epsom seat remained important to Act.

He said polling he had commissioned to help bolster his bid for the leadership showed he had triple the support of Mr Hide and could get "above five per cent" of the vote.

Mr Boscawen said although he had supported Mr Hide against Dr Brash in the leadership challenge, "from what I've seen I think Don Brash will do an outstanding job."

- NZ Herald

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