The Kiwi Party

:"This article is about the party formed out of the Christian Democrats, and its revival after Gordon Copeland's secession from United Future New Zealand, and now renamed The Kiwi Party. For the short-lived party founded by Peter Dunne, see Future New Zealand (Dunne)."

Infobox New Zealand Political Party
name_english = The Kiwi Party
name_maori =
party_
party_wikicolourid = NZKP
leader = Larry Baldock
president = Frank Naea
deputy =
mps = 1
foundation = 2007
ideology = Christian democracy,
Conservatism
international = None
colours = Blue and Red
headquarters = 255 Cameron Road,
Tauranga 3110
website = [http://www.thekiwiparty.org.nz thekiwiparty.org.nz]

The Kiwi Party is a New Zealand political party. Originally known as Future New Zealand, it was a renamed remnant of the old Christian Democrat Party, with the party's explicit Christian base having been replaced by a family values platform. Future New Zealand merged with the United New Zealand party, forming United Future New Zealand. However, events related to passage of Sue Bradford's private members bill related to parental corporal punishment of children have led to conservative Catholic List MP Gordon Copeland resigning from United Future New Zealand to resurrect Future New Zealand.

The party advocates more direct democracy through referenda and a return to the "Judeo-Christian ethic in democracy".

Origins

Future New Zealand was a continuation of the Christian Democrat Party. The Christian Democrats was founded by Graeme Lee in 1995, but despite allying with the Christian Heritage Party to form the Christian Coalition, failed to win a place in Parliament. After this failure, Lee retired from politics, leaving the Christian Democrats leaderless. Eventually, the party re-emerged under Anthony Walton with a new name: Future New Zealand.

Future New Zealand, unlike the Christian Democrat Party, did not describe itself as a Christian party. It did, however, retain the same basic social policies - a focus on the family was the most noticeable example. This "secularisation" had been foreshadowed for some time by the debates on confessionalism which had preceded the Christian Coalition's formation. Christian Heritage, a confessionalist party, had argued that an explicit Christian base for the Coalition was essential, and that only Christians should be permitted to join. The Christian Democrats, by contrast, argued that in political terms, the exact religious beliefs of a person were of secondary interest to their general moral outlook, and that non-Christians should be able to participate provided they agreed with the Coalition's basic values. After the collapse of the Christian Coalition, the Christian Democrats pursued the non-confessionalist path to an even greater degree, and Future New Zealand — a values-based rather than religion-based party — was the culmination of this shift.

In the 1999 election, Future New Zealand won 1.12% of the vote, putting it in eighth place. It did not win any seats in Parliament. The party subsequently entered merger talks with the small United New Zealand party, which had one seat. It was eventually agreed that the two would combine to form a party called United Future New Zealand. Some former members of United New Zealand have claimed that the merger effectively represented a takeover by Future New Zealand - many of United Future's policies closely follow those of Future New Zealand (particularly with regards the focus on the family). United Future rejected this assertion; there was considerable similarity between the two party's policies before the merger.

Post- Section 59 Repeal Future New Zealand Party

On May 17, 2007, United Future party list MP Gordon Copeland resigned from his former party. He stated that he would be re-forming an independent Future New Zealand party with former UFNZ List MP, Larry Baldock. Previously, Copeland had strongly objected to Sue Bradford's private members bill, which outlaws the parental corporal punishment of children in New Zealand.Peter Dunne has consistently voted for that private members bill [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dominionpost/4061808a6000.html] . Copeland and Baldock acknowledge that the 'new' party will face difficulties over issues like legal ownership of the party name, but are hopeful that they will be able to attract United Future's former conservative Christian voters. Inaugural meetings have already been held in Baldock's city of residence,Tauranga [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4067727a6160.html] , and former United Future List MP Bernie Ogilvy has become party secretary. However, Brian Tamaki and his Destiny New Zealand party have announced that it will contest the New Zealand conservative Christian vote at the next New Zealand general election in 2008 [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4068782a6160.html]

On June 14, 2007 Copeland announced that Future New Zealand "will not work with, or be part of, a Labour-led government following the 2008 elections". [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4094990a11.html] . Copeland also gave his proxy vote in parliament to the National Party (except on matters of confidence and supply).

On July 15, 2007, Copeland [http://www.futurenz.org.nz/Downloads_files/CopelandChronicleJUNE.pdf] announced in the June 2007 edition of his Copeland Chronicles newsletter (on the FNZ party website) that FNZ had attracted the necessary five hundred members required for registration under the Electoral Act 1993. Larry Baldock and Copeland were now working on establishing a Board of Management and Board of Reference for their new party, still tentatively named "Future New Zealand." Copeland also included comments about the composition of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, which provides authorisation and certification for abortion providers in New Zealand [http://www.futurenz.org.nz/Download_files/ASCHansardSpeech140706.doc] , and asserted his right to continue sitting in New Zealand's Parliament as a List MP,although he had abandoned his former United Future New Zealand colleagues [http://www.futurenz.org.nz/Download_files/ShouldILeaveParliament.doc] .

The Kiwi Party

On January 25, 2008, it was announced that the former Future New Zealand was now to be known as The Kiwi Party. Larry Baldock replaced Gordon Copeland as leader of the "new" political organisation, leaving Copeland with more time to deal with parliamentary matters.

The application to the Electoral Commission to register the new name was submitted by Bernard James Ogilvy, who was listed in the application as the party secretary, and was formally registered on February 15, 2008. Two people had objected to the use of the term "kiwi" in the name. The objections were rejected by the Commission. [http://www.elections.org.nz/news/ec-media-kiwi-240108.html ]

Policies

At the party's South Island conference in Christchurch the party outlined a number of policy ideas:

* people should be able to direct $100 of their income tax to a charity of their choice each year
* lift the adult minimum wage from the expected $12 an hour to $15 an hour
* provide employers with a 100% tax rebate to cover the minimum wage increase
* establish a Royal Commission to investigate the causes of family breakdown, family violence, and child abuse

Election 2008

The party currently has only one list MP, and no electorate MPs, in Parliament, and has yet to register significant support in national polls. Acting secretary Bernie Ogilvy has apologised for not applying for free election broadcasting in time; Larry Baldock said "This does make our task just that much harder." [ Dominion Post 30 May 2008, page B4 ] For the 2008 election the party has fielded twenty seven candidates out of a possible seventy for the seventy electorates.

ee also

*Political parties in New Zealand
*Christian politics in New Zealand

References

External links

* [http://www.thekiwiparty.org.nz/ The Kiwi Party]


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