28 Nov 2011

ACT looks at restructuring party

6:32 pm on 28 November 2011

ACT is now looking at restructuring the party in a process that could include a name change.

Don Brash formally resigned as the party's leader on Sunday, clearing the way for a new appointment.

With just one MP in Parliament and a collapse in its party vote, ACT president Chris Simmons says it is time for a hard look at the party.


However, he says they will not rush the process of appointing a new leader and it won't automatically be its sole MP, John Banks.

Mr Simmons says it would be wrong to move too quickly and not give the party the opportunity to conduct a full review of its systems and processes.

In the meantime, he says, Mr Banks will be the parliamentary leader and the board and his role as president remain in place.

Catherine Isaac, a former party president who was ranked second on the party list, has been talked about as a possible future leader.

However, she says at this stage she is not seeking a role with ACT.

John Banks says it is time to regroup, take stock and rebrand the party.

"I think that the ACT brand has just about had its use-by date," he told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme.

"We need to do a lot of work around where we've come from, our heritage, what we've achieved, where we're at and working out rebranding, if that's important."

Mr Banks says discussions will be held with the party's board decisions on relaunching ACT possibly with a new name.

Former Federated Farmers president and ACT candidate Don Nicolson, was No 3 on the party's list, disagrees that the brand has almost passed its use-by date but says there does need to be soul-searching.

"It's just time for a deep breath, we're three years out from the next election ... we've got plenty of time to do whatever needs to be done to make sure we get a strong centre-right party heading into Parliament for the next three years."

He said rebranding is costly and not an immediate priority.