ACT deputy leader resigns over disappointment in party's priorities

The ACT Party's deputy leader has resigned, claiming the party has shunned Asian voters.

Kenneth Wang emailed his resignation to the board on Sunday morning, shortly before the party was set to announce its official election line up.

A disgruntled Mr Wang told Newshub the party had turned its back on the Chinese community.

"[ACT] was the first political party openly and publically [who] supported new migrants, particularly Asian and Chinese, with a formal commitment".

He said the party's priorities have shifted since he joined 15 years ago.

"It's been replaced by other polices which are a priority and that's another disappointment."

Mr Wang said ACT's weakening stance on crime was another reason for his decision.

The deputy had been David Seymour's second-in-charge since 2014, but the party's leader and only current MP says Mr Wang is not irreplaceable.

"This is a guy who was in Parliament for 10 months, 15 years ago," Mr Seymour says.

"We're friends with Ken and we're grateful for what he's done for the party but ultimately, no one's indispensable and you've got to be a team player."

Mr Wang's page on the ACT website has already been removed.

ACT's list was released on Sunday afternoon, with party president Ruwan Premathilaka saying it displays the renewal of the party that has occurred over the past three years.

"Our candidates showcase talent, youth and diversity. They are committed to ACT's values of freedom and personal responsibility.

"They will fight to cut tax and red tape, expand choice in education and restore affordability to housing by reforming the Resource Management Act.

"They will welcome immigrants who embrace our values and positively contribute to New Zealand. They will provide both stability and spine to a centre-right government."

The full ACT Party list:

  1. David Seymour, Epsom
  2. Beth Houlbrooke, Rodney
  3. Brooke van Velden, Auckland Central
  4. Bhupinder Singh, Manukau East
  5. Stephen Berry, East Coast Bays
  6. Stuart Pedersen, Tauranga
  7. Anneka Carlson, New Plymouth
  8. Shan Ng, Mana
  9. Sam Purchas, Dunedin North
  10. Toni Severin, Christchurch East
  11. Grae O’Sullivan, Rimutaka
  12. Richard Evans, Kaikoura
  13. James McDowall, Hamilton East
  14. Richard Wells, New Lynn
  15. Michael Warren, Wellington Central        
  16. Andi Moore, Ohariu
  17. Andy Parkins, Hutt South
  18. Colin Anderson, Whanganui
  19. Bruce Carley, Bay of Plenty
  20. Tom Corbett, Rangitata
  21. Brian Davidson, Selwyn
  22. Alan Davidson, List only
  23. Dan Doughty , Dunedin South
  24. Alex Evans, Helensville
  25. Paul Gilbert, Ilam
  26. Roger Greenslade, Wairarapa
  27. Robin Grieve, Whangarei
  28. Stuart Hawkins, Waimakariri
  29. Bruce Haycock, Northcote
  30. Paul Hufflett, Nelson
  31. Nick Kearney, North Shore
  32. Tim Kronfeld, Upper Harbour
  33. Michael Milne, Tamaki
  34. Joe Misselbrook, List only
  35. Craig Nelson, Northland
  36. Joshua Perry, List only
  37. Vineet Shiriwastow, Coromandel
  38. Satnam (Sam) Singh, Manurewa
  39. Anthony Smith, Hunua
  40. Chris Sole, Rongotai
  41. Neil Wilson, Rangitikei