Dave King on the track. Photo courtesy of Rose Kerin Photography
Dave King on the track. Photo courtesy of Rose Kerin Photography

OPINIONPoliticsJuly 12, 2020

Last on the list: I felt scapegoated, so became political. And Act was the only choice

Dave King on the track. Photo courtesy of Rose Kerin Photography
Dave King on the track. Photo courtesy of Rose Kerin Photography

In the second in the Spinoff’s Last on the list series, Dave King explains what inspired him to stand for the Act Party in Manurewa. At 20th spot on the list, if David Seymour’s party can win around 16% of the party vote, King is parliament bound.

It wasn’t that long ago that a move into politics would have been the last thing that I saw myself doing. I consider myself to be what you’d call an “average Kiwi”. I work hard as a sales engineer and I try to fill my spare time with as many things that make me happy as possible.

When I was asked to write this piece I was quite happily thinking that at my current position on the Act party list I would be out of the limelight and working towards campaigning for the upcoming election. However, things change and I would like to tell you a little bit about myself and the journey that brought me to where I am now.

My first few years were spent in Paeroa. After the death of my father, my mother and I moved to Auckland. I’ve always worked for a living. Nothing has come to me for free and I pride myself on having a high work ethic and getting the job done.

That’s how I approach most of life while also remembering to have fun. I’ve been involved in many different pursuits over the years, some of them more colourful than others.

At an early age I started taking drumming lessons and in my late teens I began playing in a few bands. Hard Rock and Metal was my choice of music. Recently I played in a British Invasion cover band which was a different kind of drumming than I was used to but still lots of fun.

Dave King with kit. Photo: supplied

I also have a keen interest in cars. The faster the better. That got me involved with drag racing and I held a New Zealand National record. With such a busy life I nearly forgot to marry. Fortunately my wife did, too. We met in 2014 just before she became a proud citizen of New Zealand. We got married a year later and moved to Tuakau.

So what brought me into politics? I saw the government pass firearms laws in the most undemocratic manner I’ve ever seen, and only one party stood up against them. Sadly we’ve seen a large group of New Zealanders affected by very bad law making recently which in my view completely disregarded the democratic process. I want our democracy back.

I’m a sports shooter. The people in the community I’m involved in are good people. We feel scapegoated by the government’s actions for being law abiding citizens. I never wanted to be political but I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. I loved the New Zealand that I grew up in. When I felt it start to change from what I had known all my life, I decided that there was a job that needed to be done.

Being the person that I am, I don’t dive into things blindly. With a new-found interest in politics, I took a long hard look at all the political parties and their policies and principles to see which one aligned the closest with my own. I discovered that I’m a libertarian at heart, and the only real choice for me was the Act party.

So the guy that never wanted to be political found himself joining a political party for the first time in his life.

Dave and Sabine. Photo: supplied.

But because I also like to get fully involved in things. I wanted to know more about how the system works, how to campaign, and more importantly how to win. The natural progression of this was that I put my hand up to be considered as a candidate for the 2020 election.

I believe in the Act principles: that all people should be equal before the law; that freedom of expression and freedom of speech are essential to a free society; and that there should be less government control, not more.

Act is all about putting in place good public policy frameworks so that all New Zealanders are free to achieve their full potential. It’s an aspirational message and one I support.

This election is about our future and how we want New Zealand to be. I believe with Act’s sensible plans and the right policies we can get New Zealand through this post-Covid economic recovery and be better off. With more Act MPs we’ll also have more representatives who aren’t afraid to take principled stands in favour of democracy and proper process.

This election Act’s running a more digital and high tech campaign than we ever have but we’ll still be out door knocking and asking for the party vote to get David Seymour a bigger team in parliament.

At number 20 I’ll be campaigning for a team, rather than myself, but the hard work will be worth it when Act returns to parliament stronger.

Keep going!