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Indebted to rights and opportunities in godzone

“As a small business owner I know how tough life can be for the small and medium-sized businesses, which make up 90 percent of all New Zealand's businesses,” ACT Party small business spokesperson, Kenneth Wang, said in his maiden speech to Parliament last month.

He became the Party’s ninth MP for 145,000 ACT voters.

“For many years I often sacrificed my own wages to pay my staff.

“For many years I worked late into the night doing the paperwork only to satisfy the bureaucrats.

“I know what it’s like to battle with regulations, red tape, compliance costs, bureaucracy, and hefty government taxes.

“The reality is even in these so-called buoyant times, businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water, let alone thrive or compete globally.

“We have to do better and the ACT party I believe in, is the only party with a plan which will deliver a brighter future for all New Zealanders.”

For example, he believes hardworking men and women deserve to pay less tax, saying the current tax rates are not necessary and are a disincentive for those desperate to get ahead.

He pledges to serve the best interests of every New Zealander.

“I am proud to be a New Zealander. This beautiful land has been the land of opportunity for my family and me.”

He and his wife Li Ma, and his “very Kiwi children” Amy and Collin, continue to live in Mt Roskill.

He said he arrived half a lifetime ago. “Like all of you and your ancestors, I came to these shores [from China] with hopes for a better life and dreams of a brighter future.

“ACT is not a party for the rich. ACT is a party for everyday Kiwis like me - people who know what it’s like to be poor, what it's like to labour night and day in factories, and people who like me just want a fair go.

“I won't be afraid to stand up for what is right ... and believe me, things are far from right in New Zealand in this new century.

“Life has taught me a valuable lesson: fairness is not about taking from those who have, and handing out to those who have not. Fairness is about equality in rights and opportunity.

“I owe so much to the equality in rights and opportunities this great country has given all of us.”

Wang studied at the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts, and set up an advertising agency in 1990 that evolved into BrandWorks in 1994, in Grafton.

The business offers marketing communications, business support and creative design.

Wang remains chairman of the board and a shareholder, but his partner Bo Li is now managing director.

The firm has three full time staff and employs several others part time, and others on contract as projects require. He hopes to remain in Parliament after the election this year.