New Zealand Conservative Party

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The New Zealand Conservative Party (originally known as Right of Centre) was a short-lived political party in New Zealand. It was founded by a dissident National Party MP, Ross Meurant.

A political party is an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

Contents

Foundation

Meurant had led the New Zealand Police's high-profile "Red Squad" during the controversial 1981 Springbok Tour. He became a National Party MP in 1987 and won re-election as such in 1990 and in 1993. Meurant often clashed with the leadership of the National Party over Maori policy, and was regarded[ by whom? ] as one of the leading dissidents within the National caucus at the time[ when? ]. Eventually, in September 1994, Meurant decided to break away from National and to establish his own party, adopting the name "Right of Centre" (or "ROC"). The acronym represented Meurant's right-wing economic philosophy of privatisation of government assets.

New Zealand Police national police force

The New Zealand Police is the national police force of New Zealand, responsible for enforcing criminal law, enhancing public safety, maintaining order and keeping the peace throughout New Zealand. With over 11,000 staff it is the largest law enforcement agency in New Zealand and, with few exceptions, has primary jurisdiction over the majority of New Zealand criminal law. The New Zealand Police also has responsibility for traffic and commercial vehicle enforcement as well as other key responsibilities including protection of dignitaries, firearms licensing and matters of national security.

The new party was originally conceived by former National MPs Rob Munro (formerly a lieutenant-colonel in the New Zealand Army), lawyer Graham Reeves, and Meurant. Munro and Reeves had lost their National seats in 1993. Meurant remained in Parliament but was an implacable critic of Prime Minister Jim Bolger. To some extent the new party represented an opportunity for the former MPs to re-enter parliament. However, as the 1996 general election loomed, Munro retreated to obscurity and Reeves returned to the National Party fold to contest the unwinnable Tukituki electorate seat for National.

Rob Munro New Zealand politician

Robert John Sutherland Munro is a former New Zealand politician of the National Party, serving as Member of Parliament for Invercargill from 1987 to 1993.

New Zealand Army land component of the New Zealand Defence Force

The New Zealand Army is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted by the New Zealand Army Act 1950. The New Zealand Army traces its history from settler militia raised in 1845.

Jim Bolger Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

James Brendan Bolger is a New Zealand politician of the National Party who was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997.

Relationship with National Party

Meurant held the view that the new MMP formula for delivering parliamentary seats precluded any single party from achieving an outright majority (except in the most exceptional circumstances). Misguidedly, he anticipated that Prime Minister Bolger and his trusted aide, Finance Minister Bill Birch, (now Sir William Birch), would recognise the mathematical inevitability of the MMP formula and embrace Meurant and the former National party conspirators, in a post-election coalition.

Bill Birch politician

Sir William Francis Birch, usually known as Bill Birch, is a former New Zealand politician. He served as Minister of Finance for several years in the fourth National government.

But Meurant had mis-read the animosity Bolger had for him that, in the final analysis, condemned Meurant's party to oblivion. Though history did vindicate Meurant's belief that the MMP formula would not deliver an outright winning party at the polls. In fact, in 1996, the Bolger government finally accepted the inevitability of Meurant's claim and reached a pact with ACT, the second political party to be formed under MMP. ACT had been formed by former Labour Finance Minister Roger Douglas (now Sir Roger Douglas). National withdrew its candidate from the Wellington Central electorate to ensure ACT's candidate, Richard Prebble, would succeed in the election. This provided ACT with an electorate MP to offset its failure (as happened with all minor parties in the first general election under MMP (including the Christian Coalition) to reach the 5% threshold of votes to qualify as a political party with "List MPs" in parliament. This manoeuvre enabled Bolger to cobble together a coalition with ACT personalities whom he preferred to Meurant.

ACT New Zealand New Zealand political party

ACT New Zealand, usually known as ACT, is a right-wing, classical-liberal political party in New Zealand. According to former party leader Rodney Hide, ACT stands for "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".

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Roger Douglas New Zealand politician

Sir Roger Owen Douglas is a retired New Zealand politician who served as a minister in two Labour governments. He is best known for his prominent role in the radical economic restructuring of the 1980s, when the Fourth Labour Government's economic policy became known as "Rogernomics".

Prior to the 1996 general election, however, and prior to Meurant resigning from National, Meurant came to an arrangement with Bolger whereby Right-of-Centre would not oppose the National Party government in votes of confidence and supply; in exchange, Meurant would keep his governmental post as Parliamentary Undersecretary for Agriculture.

Until the emergence of other dissident National and Labour MPs (who formed the political party United with a base of seven MPs), Meurant actually held the balance of power and this allowed the National government to maintain its majority in the House.

Meurant built a political party largely on the provincial farming network of Federated Farmers (former president Lumsden was a candidate) and Meat Board representatives (Tim Britton and John McCarthy were both candidates).

On 8 June 1995, Meurant was joined by Trevor Rogers, another dissident National MP. Rogers was well known for his campaigns against pornography. He was a particular opponent of the internet, which he saw as facilitating the distribution of pornography and, in 1994, he had proposed a bill to completely outlaw the viewing of pornography on the internet. After a long period of argument with his fellow National MPs, Rogers decided that his future did not lie with the National Party and he transferred his allegiance to Right of Centre. This gave the party two MPs.

Trevor Vicemar Rogers is a former New Zealand member of parliament, sitting for the National Party from 1990 to 1995, then for the Right of Centre party from 1995 to 1996.

Pornography explicit portrayal of sexual acts and intercourse on media

Pornography is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, writing, film, video, and video games. The term applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself, and so does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of present-day pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors or "porn stars", who perform in pornographic films. If dramatic skills are not involved, a performer in pornographic media may also be called a model.

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing. Some publications no longer capitalize "internet".

In September 1995, Right of Centre clashed with the National Party when Ross Meurant was sacked as Parliamentary Undersecretary for Agriculture. This came as a result of Meurant's accepting a directorship of Prok Bank, a Russian-owned bank registered in Vanuatu. Prime Minister Bolger believed that this directorship was inappropriate for someone holding an executive post in government, and requested that Meurant resign the directorship. Meurant refused, and was sacked as Parliamentary Undersecretary. Despite the tension this generated, Right of Centre continued to support the National government.

General Election, 1996

Meanwhile, Right of Centre was not achieving the success in the polls that Meurant and Rogers had hoped. Meurant had strategised his party to capture a portion of the provincial conservative vote in New Zealand, but after more than a year, the party was still barely registering. It was decided to rebrand the party as the New Zealand Conservative Party. The group retained its socially conservative policies but also attempted to win support from the rural sector. This new campaign was based on the claim that National, once strongly associated with the agricultural sector, had abandoned farmers for "big business" and the cities. This new attempt to build a voter base did not meet with any noticeable success.

As the election loomed, internal disputes in Right of Centre occurred. In February 1996, Meurant rejected pressure from the executive of the party to abandon right-wing economic policies in favour of the more traditional and socialist provincial New Zealand policies. Meurant refused, claiming he alone had garnered substantial monetary donations from wealthy individuals, and on the promise of right wing economic policy forming the basis of the new party.

When the executive of the Party overruled Meurant and refused to return political donations garnered by Meurant on the promise of right wing economic policies, Meurant left the party and became an independent, following the path of most former independent MPs: to political oblivion. After the general election of 1996, the remnants of the party amalgamated with the United Party.

See also

DodgerBlue flag waving.svg Conservatismportal

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