Act founding father Alan Gibbs says New Zealanders are "buggering up" their country by having unrealistic expectations of what governments can achieve, especially when it comes to spending money on so-called welfare entitlements.
While he did not despair about New Zealand's future, there might be two decades or longer of stagnation before people got the wherewithal to tackle the country's more deep-seated problems.
The multi-millionaire businessman, who hosted Act's weekend conference at his Kaukapakapa farm, is also warning against any adoption of "quantitative easing" - the printing of money - to stimulate the economy, saying that would lead to an appalling round of high inflation.
He also said reducing interest rates to zero to try to do the same task was equally "insane".
"The Japanese tried that and have gone nowhere. It destroys enterprise because it keeps all the dogs alive and does not make any room for the growing enterprises."
Mr Gibbs, who divides his time between living in New Zealand and Britain, said the welfare "disease" was not just New Zealand's problem but the West's problem. So much energy had been poured into welfare policies that the vitality of the West had been sapped.