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ACT candidates announced

Cameron Luxton (left) and Bruce Carley have been confirmed as Act’s candidates for Tauranga and Bay of Plenty respectively. Photo: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

A new ACT party candidate is planning to stand for Tauranga at the general elections this year.

I am standing to raise ACT's Party Vote in Tauranga,” says married father of two, Cameron Luxton.

A Papamoa local, the self-employed builder was raised in Papamoa and attended Mount Maunganui College before becoming a building apprentice. He went on to spend seven years in Galatea where he share-milked on a 200ha operation, during which time he won Apprentice of the Year at the Dairy Industry Awards. Being part of that community helped shape his resolve to join ACT.

“I observed the damage which government can wrought on a community with many hard-working people, and policies which restrict development, movement, self-reliance and cause areas to decline,” says Cameron.

“I absolutely hold that the valuing of everyone else's individual rights and responsibilities is the most important thing.”

ACT has announced candidates with a range of talents who will stand from Northland to Southland for 49 of the 65 general electorates. These include Bruce Carley, who will be standing for the Bay of Plenty electorate, which is currently held by National MP Todd Muller.

“I believe so strongly in personal freedom and personal responsibility, which go hand in hand,” says Bruce.

“And having much less government influence in people's lives beyond protecting and advancing private rights and freedom.

“Individuals, families, businesses, and any kinds of organisation of people are far better at doing things with their own efforts and their own money than being told what to do.”

Bruce campaigned alongside his ACT colleague Stuart Pedersen when they both ran in the 2014 and 2017 general elections. Bruce was a list candidate in 2014, having only relocated to Tauranga from Auckland a couple of months prior to the election. In 2017 he stood as a Bay of Plenty candidate and will be doing the same this year. Tragically, Stuart died while sailing back to New Zealand from Fiji last year.

“Stuart had intended to stand for us again this year. He made a tremendous contribution to the party.

“We ran together as a team and I value what he did for us greatly, but look forward to working really well with Cameron Luxton this year.”

A marketing manager, Bruce has worked in communications and management roles for 30 years, mainly in technology distribution and software development. He was also recently elected back onto the board of the ACT party, having held an ACT board position previously from 2017- 2019.

“I understand people and businesses around the bay, and what things are important to them. I think the ACT party reflects what they would like to achieve by providing them with that minimal government intervention and maximum freedom, and allowing them to keep more of their own earnings to invest in those things as they see fit.”

The two candidates both intend campaigning for the party vote only. A recent poll suggested that ACT could have more MPs in parliament and Bruce says that party membership has doubled in the last year.

“We’re certainly heartened by the increase in that polling, and it does reflect the massive upsurge in membership. And people want to stand as candidates for the party,” says Bruce.

“At our party conference last year, we launched our new branding and recommitted to our core principles around freedom, particularly freedom of speech, but also other freedoms around education, employment and related fields. With the unfair changes to firearms legislation that made criminals out of entirely innocent people who were just trying to go about their hobbies or their livelihoods, that has attracted a great many people who appreciate that there is one party only in parliament that is actually standing up for those rights and wants to return to those rights.”

Bruce also has deep concerns for businesses affected by COVID-19.

“We want to see them get back on their feet, they were really hanging on by their fingertips. Some didn't last and there’s still a danger that many more will fail. We’ve been promoting allowing business to resume and we published an alternative budget that would see the country out of deficit in only a few years rather than the foreseeable future that the government’s budget has lumbered us with.”

The ACT party list ranking is due to be released at the end of June.

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