As his party struggles in the polls, ACT Party leader Don Brash is this week in the UK and US for briefings on the global economy from politicians, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, and IMF officials.
The NZ Herald reported the trip, saying Brash, a former NZ Reserve Bank Governor, had hoped to keep it secret so as not to have it look like a political stunt.
The dash 'oop north' comes as Treasury is set to release its Pre-Election Fiscal Update, or PREFU, today, which would be a "key event" for ACT, Brash said. ACT is pushing the government to focus more on returning debt to pre-2005 levels, and closing the gap with Australia through policies touted by the Brash-led 2025 taskforce.
The Herald reported the ACT Party board gave Brash their blessing for the trip, although there was understood to be some concern within the party about the timing of the trip, as the November 26 election quickly approaches.
Brash is not currently in Parliament, so is paying for the trip himself.
ACT's fate this election will be determined by whether candidate John Banks is able to win the Epsom electorate, as the party is unlikely to reach the 5% threshold in the general vote for entering Parliament without an electorate seat.
But polling suggests National candidate Paul Goldsmith is leading the race in Epsom, although a UMR Reasearch poll commissioned by the NBR released last week showed 35% of Goldsmith voters would give their tick to Banks if Prime Minister John Key told them to do so.
Key has so far said National would chase the party vote in Epsom, but has not formally expressed instructions for voters to give their electorate votes to Banks.
What do you think about Brash's dash? Will this help ACT get more traction during the election campaign?