Guest post: David Garrett on the three strikes policy

This week, former ACT politician David Garrett authored a guest post on the official National Party policy discussion website Kiwiblog where he outlined his concerns over the Labour coalition’s plans to get rid of one of the few pieces of legislation ACT has ever been able to put its name to. We here at MyThinks were concerned many of our readers would miss out on the many pearls of wisdom Mr Garrett could offer, so we contacted him and asked him to write a guest post on our blog. Here is that post. 

Earlier this year, I sat among the grieving family members at the trial of a third strike murderer. What the family members heard – judging by their comments and questions of me – was to them an incomprehensible judicial farce.

Whenever “life without parole” was mentioned during what was a lengthy sentencing, family members would say “YES” in a loud whisper. Sadly, it was clear to me that the judge was never going to deliver the life-without-parole that ACT, the champion of individual freedom, populist dog whistling, and… DANCE! would have wanted.

This week the family was dealt another horrific blow when Justice Minister Andrew Little announced a “review” into ACT’s three strikes policy. Apart from being the Labour government’s 486th review announced since stealing Winston from the National Party, we all know where this is heading. Labour will get rid of the policy and New Zealand will be overrun with scumbags. I’ve never seen The Waking Dead, but once the three strikes policy is dispensed with, I am sure New Zealand will resemble the zombie apocalypse.

The problem for Labour, and New Zealand, is that the three strikes policy works. It works by locking up the most disgusting individuals so they can never harm anyone again. It also acts as a deterrent. Criminals committing crimes will often stop just before they are about to commit a crime and think, “Hmmm… there’s that three strikes policy from ACT… I better stop robbing this dairy,” and they do stop. They stop their robbing and immediately head out and get a job. If Labour dump this policy, then this kind of criminality will just continue. Dairies will be robbed. Jobs will remain unfilled.

You know, if there had been a three strikes policy around when I stole the identity of that dead baby all those years ago to fraudulently obtain a passport, I’m sure I wouldn’t have committed that crime, or the other assault I was convicted of. I would have stopped and thought, “Hmmm… you know… I don’t think I will do that. Not because it’s the wrong thing to do, but because if I get caught I could, ultimately if my offending continues, end up with a life sentence for doing something mundane like slapping someone on the face.”

But there wasn’t any such law, and I committed those crimes, and now I’m an hypocritical laughing-stock.

Labour are fools if they think people like me won’t be living it up after they get rid of this law.


David Garrett, Sensible Sentencer.

NZ Election: possible coalition options

The brains-trust of MyThinks has been crunching the numbers following the election day result. Our analysis has offered up some very interesting possibilities in terms of the make up of the next parliament.

National / New Zealand First

The most likely outcome. New Zealand First have a history of forming coalitions with the party winning the largest share of the vote. National have a history of doing just about anything to stay in power. A National /NZ First government would probably have Bill English as Prime Minister and Winston Peters as Minister of Whatever He Wants. Paula Bennett will be left out in the cold and given something unimportant like sports or tourism. Look for Gerry Brownlee to order a new speakers chair after breaking the old one.

Labour / New Zealand First / Greens

An unlikely scenario as Winston Peters has ruled out ever working with the Greens, unless he gets exactly what he wants, in which case this is possible. Since Labour are not National this is not really on the cards. The Greens have said they are happy to work with Winston so this could be an option, but Winston thinks they are a bunch of dirty hippies, so this is highly unlikely.

Labour / New Zealand First with support from the Greens

Possible. Helen Clark’s last parliament left the Greens on the cross benches supporting Labour on confidence and supply. Since Winston has said he won’t work with the Greens it is possible Labour could go with this option. Watch in the coming days for National and its proxies to repeat over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that they are the largest party in parliament and therefore it is written into lore they must form the next government. With the media wanting an instant solution to the those claims to round off their 24 hour news cycle, this could put a nail in this coffin for Labour.

National / Green

Not content to have destroyed the Māori Party, United Future, nearly New Zealand First and almost ACT, National proxies have today suggested the Greens start sniffing around for some baubles of power. Far right commentator Matthew Hooton said James Shaw could be Climate Change Minister in the new National government. National don’t really believe in climate change so it would be like putting Helen Clark in charge of dishing out knighthoods. No, Hoots is only suggesting this because he knows a) the Greens would never do it so he can take the moral high ground if they go with Labour, and b) if, by some bizarre stroke of fate, do decide to do it, then National can take them out (and not the pleasant table for two at Denny’s take you out, the Tony Soprano concrete gumboots take you out).

National minority government

National could try to run it alone. After all, Bill English said almost half of New Zealand voted for him. Tough shit that over half voted against him. A minority government would be doomed to failure so, by all means, crack on.

National / Labour

There’s nothing stopping these to neoliberal centrist parties creating a grand coalition. Except the inability of all of Labour to prevent a little bit of sick leaping into the back of their throat every time they thought about it.

ACT-led minority government

Feasibly ACT could cobble together a loose arrangement with some of the larger parties in parliament (at last count, that was all of them). In that way ACT could be the first single seat minnow party to lead a western government. But back in the real world where relevance is a key issue, with just 0.5% of the party vote, ACT might now be the Nigel NoMates of New Zealand politics.

Greens-led party coalition

The Greens could throw caution to the wind and ask individual like-minded MPs from any party to join them for a party on the roof of Bowen House. This has nothing to do with what we’ve been talking about but one can only imagine the quality of the craft beer at this gathering.


PR guru and far-right enthusiast Matthew Hooton tries to run the government from inside the plush offices of the Taxpayer’s Union. WhaleOil and David Farrar get wind of it and tell on him to Judith Collins. National implodes after six months in power and the country heads back to the polls.


Nobody has any idea what the hell Winston Peters is going to do so we should all just go about our normal everyday business until the National Party bribes him the most and they sign the contract.

ACT leader clarifies cash payout to charter school charity

ACT leader and Minor Secretary for Education David Seymour has clarified the half-million dollar payout to a key ally for the National Party chartnership schools policy. The $500,000 payout, made by the government to the E Tipu E Rea Trust, a new body set up to promote and support the controversial schooling model, was revealed by various media outlets earlier this week. 

Seymour, who has also championed the policy, held a press conference today to clarify the payment. MyThinks was there and we have the transcript. 

SEYMOUR: Hello everyone. Thank you all for coming. It’s good to see so many people following the recent ACT Party conference held in the lounge of my Epsom flat. I just wanted to clear a few things up surrounding the confusion about this money. This was a payment of $500,000 dollars to a charity looking at promoting our wonderful chartnership school concept. It just so happens they are many of the same people who voted National and got loads of selfies with John Key the last time he was in South Auckland in 2009. That’s entirely coincidental. Like running into your friend at the mall when you are both buying satsumas, for example. Are you expecting us to give money just to chartnership school operators who vote Labour and Greens? That’s just ridiculous. There are none of those anywhere in the world. I would also like to point out that this National-led government, with its strong partners in ACT, UnitedFuture and the Māori Party, have consistently said it’s not what you do it’s how you do it. We are leading by example giving out hundreds of thousands of dollars to anybody willing to promote our policies. That, quite frankly, is common sense. If you have billions of dollars at your disposal, why wouldn’t you flick a few hundy to some blokes who agree with the educational policies we have. And… who asked you anyway. Shut up. Just shut up. Nanananananaaannnannanaaa I’m not listening, not listening.

So thank you all for coming. I need to head off now because I’ve got a Year 12 Geography test to do, so thanks very much.

Selfie shenanigans: with David Seymour

Greetings again everybody. Under-secretary for stuff David Seymour here just with a few words of advice for any budding new MPs out there.

As you may or may not know, all the ministers in the latest Key government were sworn in under a blood moon this week. As you might suspect, there were the usual rituals of swearing an oath to Queen Elizabeth and sacrificing a baby goat, but the most exciting bit was receiving our ‘to-do list’ from Mr Key.

There was only one thing on my to-do list. If anyone asks Ms Parata about charter schools or privatisation of poor schools in poor areas I’m to immediately jump up and say how excited I am about the ACT Party’s charter school ideas that we’ve managed to sell to the government. Mr Key says it’s important that the New Zealand public are clear in understanding that National’s charter school policy is not their charter school policy.

That’s absolutely fine by me. Technically, since the ACT Party doesn’t really exist, any situation where the ACT Party talks about itself in this way is most exciting. Our major and very generous benefactors – the New Zealand taxpayer (without whom we’d be up a certain creek with no paddle, no boat and completely unable to keep our head above the sludge) – really want to hear what we have to say. I mean the ACT Party received over 0.65% of the vote at the last election. That’s hundreds and hundreds of votes. It’s a mandate.

Speaking of mandates, I am very much looking forward to my first cabinet meeting this week. Of course, I’m not allowed in the big room at the big table. That’s reserved for Mr Key and Mr English and all the other people who have real jobs in this administration. No, there’s an extra table for me and Peter Dunne outside the Cabinet room. We get to colour in pictures of Sir Robert while we wait for Mr Key to come out and tell us what to say next.

Starting the campaign for Epsom: 2020

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from Mr Key this year is that selfies are the single most important thing for securing votes. I was door-knocking in Epsom the other day (just in case people had forgotten about me in the two weeks since the election) and imagine my surprise when I was greeting by a small gaggle of private school children all dressed as well-known feminist Miley Cyrus. After spending several minutes laughing about how out of touch the Labour Party is and how amazing alcopops are as an afternoon aperitif, we went our separate ways. I was humbled by the reception and was promised several hundred votes at the 2020 elections.

Oh well… I’d better be off. I’ve got several hundred doors to knock on today. Epsom is a large electorate and as National Party MP for Epsom it is hugely important to me to get out there and talk to as many pre-ball parties as possible.



Hello New Zealand… I’m David Seymour

Hello New Zealand. I’m David Seymour – the new ACT Party member of parliament for the safe National seat of Epsom. I am hugely excited about representing both the interests of my constituents and those of the six people who still believe ACT to be a vibrant political force. Our combined party vote of 0.7% shows just how relevant we are.

What an exciting week it has been. I came to parliament on Tuesday morning not really knowing what to expect and who would have believed that parliament would be what it is. The ACT Party offices are adorned with some beautiful artwork, some of it quite modern and not to my taste, but I do understand that it is very good so I am happy to have it above my desk no matter how naked the subject is. The plant in the corner is a bit dead, but I am utterly convinced it can be nurtured back to health if I prune it at the base of the trunk.

After a lengthy 10 minute caucus meeting where I enjoyed my own company and talked about me, the ACT juggernaut went out into the corridors of parliament to soak up the atmosphere. As I walked near the Beehive I could hear both the maniacal laughter coming from the National Party offices and the tortuous screams coming from the Labour end of parliament. It really is an exciting time if you are not Labour.

I was also excited to hear during the week that John Key and his National Party have decided to allow me the honour of serving as one of minister Hekia Parata’s many minions with an associate education portfolio. I have long admired Ms Parata for her unwavering commitment to education policies that have wreaked havoc in so many jurisdictions around the world. Her abilities to speak for minutes at a time without uttering a single word of phrase of note is legendary among those of us who never wish to say anything. She is a true shining light in the coal-mine of indifference.

How nice of National to offer me this position. They didn’t have to. I was happy to sit in parliament and accept a range of anonymous donations from my wealthy benefactors, but to now be part of the parliamentary machine and receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax-free cash at no expense to our party is truly humbling. I would also like a new car, a gym membership and some of those little soaps and shampoos you get when you stay in a fancy hotel. They always leave me smelling quite nice.

So it is with excited hands and an indefatigable dedication to my job as Epsom MP for the National Party that I enter parliament. I promise to spend the next three years as your MP utterly committed to doing everything I am told to do by the National Party and the various tobacco, alcohol and food groups I actually represent.

Kindest regards,