Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Young Act members seek nominations

Michelle Boag, former National Party president, Ms Boag welcomed the fact long term but relatively young Act figures Jamie Whyte and David Seymour had confirmed they would seek the nomination and that Mr Simmons was considering it. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Michelle Boag, former National Party president, Ms Boag welcomed the fact long term but relatively young Act figures Jamie Whyte and David Seymour had confirmed they would seek the nomination and that Mr Simmons was considering it. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Former National Party President Michelle Boag is the latest figure on the political right to rule herself out of seeking Act's nomination to represent Epsom in this year's election.

Ms Boag told the Herald she would not seek the nomination after political commentator and lobbyist Matthew Hooton yesterday suggested she might be a challenger in a column he used to rule himself out of contention.

Former Act President Chris Simmons, who is still considering whether he will run for the job also confirmed Ms Boag's name had been bandied around in internal discussions about the Epsom nomination.

But in ruling herself out yesterday, Ms Boag welcomed the fact long term but relatively young Act figures Jamie Whyte and David Seymour had confirmed they would seek the nomination and that Mr Simmons was considering it.

"It's great that they've got people from their own organisation coming forward, because they need it."

Meanwhile, in his column published online on the National Business Review yesterday, Mr Hooton also said he would not set up a new right wing political party as had also been speculated.

National Party member Mr Hooton said he had considered setting up the new party as a means of keeping Labour, the Greens and Hone Harawira's Mana Party out of Government by providing a viable potential partner for National.

However he had decided that seeking to establish a new political vehicle in the few months before the election campaign would cause enormous disruption and division on the right "and would not serve the goal of keeping Labour's far left out of power".

Mr Hooton said Act needed to stand on its own two feet and differentiate itself from National rather being perceived as "a subsidiary of the bigger brand".

Therefore, the people to take Act forward "are those with history in the party, not ring-ins from National, like Don Brash, John Banks, Michelle Boag or me".

Mr Hooton endorsed management consultant Mr Whyte who is seeking both the Act leadership and the Epsom nomination as the best choice for leader and long time Act member Mr Seymour as the best choice to stand in Epsom.

"Both are undoubtedly Act deep in their souls, not mere darker shades of National blue."

Mr Hooton's column came the day after former Act Leader and Epsom MP Rodney Hide used his Herald On Sunday column to announce he would not seek the nomination.

- NZ Herald

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