Last updated

Leader Richard McGrath
PresidentShane Pleasance
DeputySean Fitzpatrick
Founded1995 (1995)
Dissolved29 January 2014
Ideology Objectivist-based libertarianism
International affiliation Interlibertarians
ColoursRoyal and light blue

Libertarianz was a political party in New Zealand (hence the suffix -nz) that advocated libertarianism, favouring self-government and limiting the power of the government over the individual. [1] Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism was a major influence on the party.[ citation needed ] Its slogan "More Freedom, Less Government" is indicative of the party's basic policy platform. It went into recess and was de-registered by its own request in 29 January 2014.



Libertarianz was founded in late 1995 by Ian Fraser, who served as the party's first leader. Later, Lindsay Perigo, a well-known New Zealand broadcaster for Radio New Zealand and TVNZ, assumed the leadership. Perigo was followed as leader by Peter Cresswell and then Russell Watkins. At the time of its deregistration the leader was Richard McGrath, and the Party president was Shane Pleasance. [2]

The party's first campaign was the 1996 election, the first to be held under the MMP electoral system. Libertarianz's involvement in the election produced negligible public interest. [3] They gained 671 votes (0.03%), which placed them in 19th place. In the 1999 elections, the party performed somewhat better, gaining 5,949 votes (0.29%). This put them in 11th place, and in fourth place among the parties which did not gain seats in parliament. Libertarianz did not contest the party vote in the 2002 elections – due to an oversight, the party's bank cheque was not transmitted to the electoral authorities by the appointed time. The party was therefore able to contest the election only through individual electorate candidates. Its five candidates gained 672 votes amongst them.

Darnton v Clark

On 29 June 2006, Bernard Darnton filed proceedings in the High Court, suing Helen Clark for allegedly misappropriating public funds to pay for the Labour Party's pledge cards during the 2005 election. Some commentators labelled the lawsuit a stunt, although it received some media coverage as concern about the "pledge card" funding grew. [4] [5] On Sunday 10 September 2006, the lawsuit was the subject of a front-page story [6] in The Sunday Star-Times newspaper. The Labour party promptly accused the Libertarianz party of being part of a conspiracy with National party, alleging that the small party could not afford to bring such a case to court. [7]

In October 2006, after the auditor-general released a report declaring that the misappropriation of funds was illegal, Labour and other political parties immediately announced that they would pay back the money. On 17 and 18 October, a majority, including the Labour Party, passed a law through Parliament to 'retrospectively validate' the spending, making it legal, which is required under the Public Finance Act 1989. In the circumstances, however, it also effectively makes the misspending immune from court proceedings.[ citation needed ] In response, the Libertarianz party declared 18 October 2006 to be "Banana Republic Day", and issued press releases. [8]

Dissolution (2014)

In January 2014, Party Leader Richard McGrath asked the Electoral Commission to de-register the party, given that practical administrative tasks such as maintaining membership were rendered impossible by the part-time and voluntary status of its membership and executive. The commission de-registered the party on 29 January 2014. Instead, McGrath advised former party members to support ACT New Zealand, under the organisational leadership of newly elected party president Jamie Whyte. [9] [10]

Election results (1996–2011)

Election# of candidates nominated (electorate/list)# of seats won# of party votes % of popular vote
2 / 24 [11]
0 / 30
2002 did not contest
11 / 28
16 / 36
0.05%(This figure is unduly precise)
9 / 27

New Zealand general election, 2008

The Libertarianz party contested the 2008 New Zealand General Election, which was held on 8 November. It fielded candidates in 16 electorates. [12] Altogether, it received 1176 votes (0.05% of the total proportion of votes cast).

Mount Albert by-election 2009

At the 13 June 2009 Mount Albert by-election, Julian Pistorius stood as the candidate for Libertarianz and polled in ninth place (39 votes), lowest of all party-affiliated candidates who contested that by-election.

Notable candidates

See also

Related Research Articles

ACT New Zealand New Zealand political party

ACT New Zealand, known simply as ACT, is a right-wing, classical-liberal political party in New Zealand. According to former party leader Rodney Hide, ACT's values are "individual freedom, personal responsibility, doing the best for our natural environment and for smaller, smarter government in its goals of a prosperous economy, a strong society, and a quality of life that is the envy of the world". Young ACT is its affiliated, albeit unofficial, student wing.

The Alliance was a left-wing political party in New Zealand. It was formed at the end of 1991 by the linking of four smaller parties. The Alliance positioned itself as a democratic socialist alternative to the centre-left New Zealand Labour Party. It was influential throughout the 1990s, but suffered a major setback after its founder and leader, Jim Anderton, left the party in 2002, taking with him several of its members of parliament (MPs). After the remaining MPs lost their seats in the 2002 general election, some commentators predicted the demise of the party.

United Future New Zealand, usually known as United Future, was a centrist political party in New Zealand. The party was in government between 2005 and 2017, first alongside Labour (2005–2008) and then supporting National (2008–2017).

Bernard Darnton is a former leader of Libertarianz, a libertarian political party in New Zealand.

The Kiwi Party was a political party operating in New Zealand between 2007 and 2011. Briefly known as Future New Zealand, it was a breakaway from the United Future New Zealand party and sought to carry on the tradition of Future New Zealand. The party was formed when MP Gordon Copeland left United Future after a dispute over support for the Crimes Amendment Act 2007. At the 2008 general election, the Kiwi Party was unsuccessful, and was not re-elected to Parliament. It did not contest the 2011 general election under its own banner, but the leaders and other members stood for the Conservative Party.

Party lists in the 2005 New Zealand general election

This page provides the party lists put forward in New Zealand's 2005 election. Party lists determine the appointment of list MPs under the mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system. Electoral law required submission of all party lists by 23 August 2005.

Electoral system of New Zealand System by which New Zealand parliament is elected

The New Zealand electoral system has been mixed-member proportional (MMP) since the 1996 election. MMP was introduced following a referendum in 1993. It replaced the first-past-the-post (FPP) system New Zealand had previously used for most of its history. New Zealanders elect their members of parliament (MPs) with two votes. The first vote is for a candidate from an electorate. The second vote is used to elect ranked party lists.

Christchurch Central Electoral district in Canterbury, New Zealand

Christchurch Central is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate in the South Island city of Christchurch. The electorate was established for the 1946 election and, until 2011 had always been won by the Labour Party. Since 2008, the incumbent was Brendon Burns but the election night results for the 2011 election resulted in a tie; the special vote results combined with a judicial recount revealed a 47-vote majority for Nicky Wagner, the National list MP based in the electorate. Wagner significantly increased her winning margin in the 2014 election after having declared the electorate "unwinnable" for National earlier in the year following a boundary review. At the 2017 election Wagner lost the seat to Labour's Duncan Webb, who retained it at the 2020 election.

Epsom (New Zealand electorate) Electoral district in Auckland, New Zealand

Epsom is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. As of the 2017 general election, its member of parliament is David Seymour.

Mana (New Zealand electorate) Electoral district in Wellington, New Zealand

Mana is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate in the Wellington metropolitian area. It has been held by Barbara Edmonds of the Labour Party since the 2020 election.

Mount Albert (New Zealand electorate) Electoral district in Auckland, New Zealand

Mount Albert is a parliamentary electorate based around the suburb of Mount Albert in Auckland, New Zealand, returning one member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Representatives. It has elected only Labour Party MPs since it was first contested at the 1946 election. The incumbent MP is Jacinda Ardern, currently serving as Prime Minister of New Zealand, who was first elected in a 2017 by-election. The electorate was previously represented by David Shearer from 13 June 2009 to 31 December 2016; it was represented by Helen Clark from the 1981 general election until her resignation from Parliament on 17 April 2009.

Candidates in the 2008 New Zealand general election by electorate

Seventy of the one hundred and twenty members of the New Zealand House of Representatives elected in New Zealand's 2008 general election will be from single member constituencies, an increase of one electorate seat from 2005. The initial composition of the 2005 Parliament gave the Labour and National parties each 31 constituencies, the Māori Party four and ACT, United Future and the Progressive Party one each.

Bill and Ben Party Political party in New Zealand

The Bill and Ben Party was a New Zealand joke political party formed in 2008 and voluntarily deregistered in 2010. The party's leaders were Jamie Linehan and Ben Boyce of the TV3 satirical sports show Pulp Sport. In the 2008 general election the party secured 0.56% of the vote, outpolling every other party not in parliament prior to the election. It gained the ninth-highest number of votes out of the 19 parties standing for election.

2011 New Zealand general election General election in New Zealand

The 2011 New Zealand general election on Saturday 26 November 2011 determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.

The Mana Movement, formerly known as the Mana Party, is a former political party in New Zealand. The party was led by Hone Harawira which was formed in April 2011 following his resignation from the Māori Party. Harawira won the by-election in Te Tai Tokerau of 25 June 2011 for the Mana Party and retained the seat during the 2011 general election, but lost it in 2014 and 2017 to Labour Party candidate Kelvin Davis.

OurNZ Party Political party in New Zealand

The OurNZ Party was a political party in New Zealand. The party advocated a new currency, a 1% transaction tax, a written constitution, and binding referenda. Its founding leaders were former Direct Democracy Party leader Kelvyn Alp and Rangitunoa Black.

Internet Party (New Zealand) Political party in New Zealand

The Internet Party was a registered political party in New Zealand that promoted Internet freedom and privacy. The party was founded in January 2014 with the financial support and promotion of internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, and was first led by former Alliance MP Laila Harré, then by citizen journalist Suzie Dawson.

2017 New Zealand general election Election on 23 September 2017

The 2017 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 23 September 2017 to determine the membership of the 52nd New Zealand Parliament. The previous parliament was elected on 20 September 2014 and was officially dissolved on 22 August 2017. Voters elected 120 members to the House of Representatives under New Zealand's mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system, a proportional representation system in which 71 members were elected from single-member electorates and 49 members were elected from closed party lists. Around 3.57 million people were registered to vote in the election, with 2.63 million (79.8%) turning out. Advance voting proved popular, with 1.24 million votes cast before election day, more than the previous two elections combined.

Next New Zealand general election Future general election to be held in New Zealand

The next New Zealand general election to determine the composition of the 54th Parliament of New Zealand will be held no later than 13 January 2024, after the currently elected 53rd Parliament is dissolved or expires.

Stephen Berry (politician) Politician from New Zealand

Stephen Berry is a perennial candidate in New Zealand national and local politics, running on right-wing positions.


  1. "Principles". Libertarianz. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014.
  2. "Libertarianz Party Contact Details". Libertarianz Party. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  3. Miller, Raymond. New Zealand Politics in Transition. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1997. p. 183
  4. "Libertarianz deny plot behind Labour legal action". The New Zealand Herald . 11 September 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  5. "Libertarianz declares 'Banana Republic Day". The New Zealand Herald . 18 October 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  6. Fairfax New Zealand - Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Yahoo!Xtra News [ permanent dead link ]
  8. "Libz Declares Banana Republic Day". Libertarianz. 18 October 2006. Archived from the original on 20 December 2006.
  9. Wong, Simon (3 February 2014). "Libertarianz call it quits as party". 3 News. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  10. "Amendment to the Register of Political Parties". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Part III - Party Lists of unsuccessful Registered Parties" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  12. "Candidates 2008". Libertarianz. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011.
  13. Orsman, Bernard (10 October 2004). "Hubbard wins Auckland mayoralty". NZ Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2021.