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ACTs new name to get message across

19 June 2018

There have been murmurings that the ACT Party may change its name in the hope of getting more attention and votes at the next Election. That’s a great idea and I have the perfect option.

I’d call it “The New National Party” in the same way Jim Anderton used “New labour” in the 1990s.

Why change?

Firstly, I don’t think many people understand what ACT’s actual message is, let alone what the acronym stands for. But it’s clearly a party of free enterprise, low tax and limited government. That space has always been claimed by National (since Muldoon and Rogernomics), but over the last 10 years, National has become more interventionist in some areas.

So while National can still claim to be a party of the centre-right and distinct from Labour, ACT is clearly the only party of the right, which translates into free enterprise, low tax and limited government.

So why call it New National?

  • ACT policies may have always been to the right of National, but that gap was far smaller in the 1990s than it is now. ACT has also softened some of its earlier more extreme policies like a flat tax. So the name would be legitimate, as the party could claim to be more like the National Government of the 1990s, particularly the Ruth Richardson era.
  • The word National actually means something. People understand what that word means in a political sense. If ACT changed to something like Liberal, people wouldn’t have a clue what that meant.
  • Existing National voters may dig deeper into party policies to see what the party is really about. Some who liked the National of the 1990s will like what they see.
  • The PUBLICITY it will create. ACT has struggled to get media attention (Hence David Seymour’s “Dancing with the Stars” appearance). The name change will give him a valuable platform to really explain what his party is all about and why it is “The New National Party.”

For more on my media training, contact pete@mediatrainingnz.co.nz

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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