Rodney Hide won't make ACT comeback

Last updated 14:21 12/01/2014
RODNEY HIDE: Party insiders confirm there's support for Hide to return - but Hide is less keen.
Jonathan Cameron
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Rodney Hide has ruled out reclaiming his role as leader of the ACT Party. 

In an op-ed he wrote for the Herald on Sunday, Hide said the "glory days" were over and his time in politics had come to an end. 

"And now the position of ACT candidate for Epsom is open again. I am very pleased ACT has excellent candidates in prospect. I have concluded it can't be me," he said.

"I now don't have the necessary passion and enthusiasm to do the job well. Yes, I loved it and I gave it everything I had, and then some. But it's gone now. I am not sure why that is. It just is."

He then took a swipe at NZ First leader WInston Peters, calling him an "aged rock star who has partied way too hard and is now up on stage trying to relive the glory days".

"New MPs snigger at him. There was a time he would have swatted them down like flies."

Hide said it was sad.

His confirmation he would not be vying for his old mantle is another piece of the puzzle that makes up how ACT will plan its comeback from a disastrous  2013.

It saw John Banks announce his resignation as leader of the ACT party as of March this year, and his retirement at the general election.

Former Cambridge philosophy lecturer turned management consultant Jamie Whyte confirmed he would contest the leadership at the end of last year. 

Earlier this week, David Seymour, who stood for ACT in the Auckland Central seat in 2011, confirmed to Fairfax Media he was intending to raise his hand to be the Epsom candidate this time round. 

Seymour said he was not expecting to be leader, but would like to be the MP for Epsom.

"There's a number of possible configurations, one is that a single person is the Epsom candidate and a leader of the party. Or those two roles could be split.

"Outside of those two roles, we're hoping that ACT will actually get a number of MPs in [to Parliament] and so that's the proposition."

Party president John Boscawen said a number of high-calibre candidates had shown interest.

The party would be discussing their options on the first weekend of February, and would announce a new leader and candidate for Epsom on February 2.

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