Recently Nexus had a tip off about a candidate for the ACT party in Rotorua who was inspired by the doings of a local shitposting page. We sent off the resident ACT fanboy to investigate further and draw some conclusions.
Nexus: It’s a pleasure to talk to you Pete. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and what you stand for.
Pete: Thanks for reaching out Nexus/Josh. I grew up thinking I was a smart kid, but that was because a lot of people told me that’s who I was, only because I was clever in school. Once I left school I quickly learned no one appreciated that because I actually didn’t know very much at all. This led me to pursuing practical knowledge very hungrily, I changed physically from 114kgs to 55kgs, I changed my personality, from being very introverted to extroverted, and began a career in sales. Eventually I was making great money managing a finance company but I wasn’t satisfied with life. I began studying relationships, and just after I turned 30 I began teaching because most people are never taught these skills. Now I study, locally and internationally online, as well as running two businesses, one coaching Men to communicate better with Women and one helping businesses find more paying clients online. The results have been Impressive.
Nexus: Sources have told us that the Facebook page “Could Be Keen” inspired you to run as an ACT candidate in Rotorua. Could you tell us how this happened and how you went about setting yourself up as a candidate?
Pete: It’s true. It all started because one of my clients loves diggers. When “Could Be Keen” brought the digger guys onto David Seymour’s livestream for a laugh during lockdown, my client discovered David, and knowing what I teach and what I stand for, he sent me a clip of David in Parliament. I was shocked. was a Politician standing up for Personal Freedom and Personal Responsibility. All my life I had thought Politics was a bunch of soulless or clueless idiots wasting money and time while the citizens of New Zealand made their lives work despite a hapless government. A man who turned down a ministerial position, plus the pay rise and a limo, to ensure he could pass the End of Life Choice Act to give people suffering from terminal illness freedom of choice.
Suddenly I realized people needed to know about David, I looked into ACT and realized we had a party built on values and principles, not popularity. Who was going to tell people about this? Well, Personal Freedom, Personal Responsibility. It’s my life, my freedom, my country, my responsibility. So I googled ACT, found out where candidates were missing from electorates, called up, and said: “Hi, I’m Pete Kirkwood and I’m going to become the Rotorua Candidate.” I’ve been told no one has ever gone from zero party involvement to party Candidate, however, I never doubted I would once I made the decision that it needed to be done.
Nexus: Have you since delved further into the world of shitposting since? If you have, what’s your favourite page and why?
Pete: Yeah of course, who hasn’t clicked their way down a rabbit hole when they can’t sleep or they’re waiting for something! My favourite page has to be “Could Be Keen” because they helped me get into Politics, and what kind of a person would I be if I didn’t give a shout out for that?!
Nexus: Could you see using these pages as a way to connect with your younger voter base? Would you consider using these avenues? Why or why not?
Pete: Absolutely. Social media is here to stay. There are some candidates making use of social media as best we can. However, there are a lot of rules and laws around authorized party messages so we certainly love it when our members, supporters and friends share our content and engage in discussions with their social circles, being a small party we have to shout loud. Fortunately we have facts, principles and solutions and those are things I can shout about loudly and proudly. Also, our younger voter base can take advantage of the fact that Myah Deadman is your local ACT candidate and she studies at Waikato University!
Nexus: So obviously we are a student run magazine circulating to mainly students, why should students vote for your party?
Pete: Because Students are Smart. If you’re reading these words you actually care about your future, the future of this country, and you’re investing your own precious time into gaining knowledge on this subject. I never took politics seriously when I was younger, I never thought my one vote would make a difference. Because I never understood Politics wasn’t about one vote. Let me explain, firstly, the party who convinces enough people to vote for them to create a coalition wins a government. Secondly, you yourself can convince people to vote for a party, if you’re championing a party with sensible solutions and policies, you can probably make a lot more difference in the number of votes they get than just one. This is why I became a candidate, just to get the word out. I’m not ready for Parliament yet.
Nexus: With it being an election year with two referendums, what is ACT’s stance on the legalisation of Marijuana? Is it unique to any other Partys’ views?
Pete: Ah yes, Cannabis Reform it’s a different situation to the End of Life Choice referendum. For End Of Life Choice, the Bill was debated thoroughly and at length in parliament, and the final Act is what voters get to have a say on. Please vote to end unnecessary suffering. The Cannabis Legalisation and Control referendum is yet to go through parliament. Which means, this referendum will tell us what the mood of the public is and their appetite for change, therefore ACT will be making sure the Bill is safe from any unintended consequences because it’s about what the people really want.