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Act leader Rodney Hide denies that his party's president was pushed to give up his post because he did not expel party critic Peter Tashkoff.

Michael Crozier, 73, has stood down as Act president before he goes to Europe for an extended break.

Mr Hide denied that he had had a fallout with Dr Crozier over his handling of Mr Tashkoff, who is next on the party list to enter Parliament and has openly criticised Mr Hide.

The Herald understands that the board had discussions about expelling Mr Tashkoff from the party, but under an agreement between him and Dr Crozier, he has retained his membership.

Mr Hide said Dr Crozier had not been pushed to stand down, but had wanted to move on before the job became too hectic in the lead-up to next year's general election.

"He has always indicated that he would stand down. I want him to stay on the board, but that will be up to the board."

Mr Hide said he did not know if there had been any formal effort to expel Mr Tashkoff.

"It's been quite an issue for the party and members. I have stayed entirely out of it and said it's a party matter. I've left it to the board."

The board sent a delegation, Dr Crozier and Sir Roger Douglas, to meet Mr Tashkoff about two weeks ago.

"They pointed out to me that I was not just an ordinary Act Party member," Mr Tashkoff told the Herald.

"I was next on the list to go into Parliament and, because of that, I had less freedom than other members to be critical of the party. I thought that was fair enough, and I was prepared to not speak publicly against the leadership of the party or the party policies."

But in return, he wanted a two-way channel to discuss matters with the wider party membership.

"Information comes from the board, the president or from Rodney Hide, and that's it.

"I said, 'If you want me to shut up, you have to provide an uncensored, two-way forum for discussion within the party'.

"We shook hands on that. It's my belief that we've come to an agreement there."

Mr Tashkoff had tried last year to engage the board and caucus MPs in a discussion about who would be the best leader of the party.

Act vice-president Bruce Haycock said Dr Crozier's resignation had nothing to do Mr Tashkoff.

"His tenure has been exemplary, but he was feeling fatigued and he was looking forward to his time in Europe."

He said Chris Simmons, who was the treasurer, had agreed to take over as president until the annual conference next year, when a new president would be appointed.