The new Act leadership gave the National Government notice yesterday that it plans to take a more aggressive approach than it did under former leader Rodney Hide and that it won't be "used" by National any more.

The deputy leader and leader in Parliament, John Boscawen, said the departure of the party's former chief of staff Peter Keenan was a result of the new approach.

Mr Keenan was a former aid to Don Brash when he was National leader and until Dr Brash's leadership coup of Act, worked closely with Mr Hide.

Mr Boscawen said Mr Keenan and Mr Hide had worked in a particular style.

"I would be wanting a more aggressive stance," he told the Herald.

He and Dr Brash felt as though Act had been "used at times" with National playing Act off against the Maori Party.

"That is not acceptable to us going forward."

Mr Boscawen said his questions to Prime Minister John Key during question time yesterday showed the more aggressive approach: "How can he have any confidence in any of his Ministers, when the Government set the goal of closing the income gap with Australia by 2025 and he has simply widened it and disbanded the 2025 task force, to avoid further embarrassment?" Mr Boscawen asked.

Mr Boscawen stepped down as Minister of Consumer Affairs this week to devote time his new role as parliamentary leader of the Act Party.

He said that that in all major decisions he would consult Dr Brash outside Parliament but he was aware that under Parliament's rules, no person outside Parliament could instruct him.

Mr Boscawen has already been selected to stand for Act in Tamaki, held by National's Allan Peachey.

Auckland Council representative for Orakei Cameron Brewer yesterday ruled out standing for Act, in the face of some speculation that he would be a fresh face for the party.

Mr Brewer is a National Party member and said he wanted to remain so.

"At 38 years of age I'm not in any rush to get to Wellington."

He said would probably like to at some stage in the future but with a 6-year-old daughter, "I think she needs me more in Auckland than the Act Party needs me in Wellington."

Mr Hide, who kept his ministerial posts and agreed to retire quietly from Epsom at the election, appeared yesterday before the education select committee.

He hinted to reporters yesterday that he would try to gain Dr Brash's approval to stand again in Epsom.

"I'm not closing any doors ... The issue of whether I stand right now, Don Brash says he doesn't have any confidence in me to continue and I have to accept that.

"What I'll do is I'll work very hard supporting Don hopefully to establish that confidence."

He had given no thought to his future beyond the election.