Update: Simon Walker
Note: this post originally appeared on ‘Douglas to Dancing’, a blog I maintained from 2007-9 on the ACT New Zealand political party. The blog was an extension of the thesis I wrote about the Act Party in 2007, From Douglas to Dancing: explaining the lack of success of ACT New Zealand and evaluating its future prospects (PDF).
I mentioned Simon Walker in my post on targeting New Zealand voters abroad. Walker was included in ACT newsletters during its start-up phase in the mid-1990s as the party’s London contact. Walker edited the 1989 book Rogernomics: Reshaping New Zealand’s Economy, a collection of articles in favour of the economic reforms began five years earlier by the then Minister of Finance and later ACT co-founder, Sir Roger Douglas.
Mr. Walker has since contacted me to say that he is still an ACT party member and supporter. Indeed, he appears to still be living in London and is the Chief Executive of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA), which describes itself as “the industry body for the UK private equity and venture capital industry. Our membership of well over 400 members represents the overwhelming number of UK-based private equity and venture capital firms and their advisers”.
ACT is a party of interesting personalities and one of the interesting aspects of studying the party in depth has been following up where supporters and former MPs have ended up. Walker is by no means the only ACT figure living overseas – as I noted last year, Derek Quigley now lectures in Canberra; blogger Clint Heine lives in London; Rob Good lives in Los Angeles – and these are just names off the top of my head. I’ll try to continue keeping tabs on ACT figures – wherever they are in the world.