Mitchell W. Palmer

Student | Political Technologist | Activist

Read my book: Radical Reform offers a prescription for New Zealand's political future. Among other systemic issues, educational inequality, housing shortages, and unsustainable social entitlements plague New Zealand's otherwise prosperous society. I propose a radical way forward, based in the logic of liberalism and freedom: Read a draft copy.

I am passionate about economics, politics, and finance and the power of free markets to do good in the world.


Data Analyst and Software Developer — ACT New Zealand

April 2017 - Present (On hiatus from November 2017 to February 2018)

In my role in the ACT Party, New Zealand's only classical liberal party in Parliament, I work with web technologies and big data to connect the party with constituents and get insights about voters and voter behaviour. This role has included:

  • redeveloping the ACT website on the NationBuilder platform after a rebranding of the Patry,
  • developing, from scratch, a new electronic electoral roll management system, admist the 2017 election,
  • creating election result analytics, and
  • building bespoke digital campaigns, often with tight turnaround times, including:
    • the very successful Save Charter Schools petition,
    • for the by-election campaign in Northcote,
    • for the campaign in favour of free speech protections, and
    • the Party's petition and campaign against the capital gains tax

Parliamentary Member Support to David Seymour MP — New Zealand Parliament

November 2017 - Present (full-time until February 2018 and at various points since)

In this temporary role in David Seymour MP's constituency office in Epsom, I have been responsible for the continuing modernization of electronic constituent relationship systems as well as other miscellaneous tasks, principally relating to constituent engagement.


Auckland Grammar School CIE A-Levels and NZQA Scholarship

January 2015 - Present

At Auckland Grammar School, New Zealand's pre-eminient public boys school, I excel in both academic and extracurricular pursuits, as a Cooper-Connell Scholarship boarder in Tibbs House.

I currently study Advanced Level Maths, Physics, Economics and History, having completed Advanced Subsidiary Level English in 2018. In addition, I am studying toward NZQA Scholarship in, inter alia, English, Maths, Economics, Geography, and History. I am currently in 7A (the top-ranked Year 13 class) and a School and Tibbs Hosue Prefect.

In 2018, I was named a University Entrance Scholar with a place on the School’s Honours Board, after having won New Zealand Scholarships (awarded to the top 3% of candidates in the country) in Economics, Health & Physical Education, and English, as well as an Outstanding Scholarship in History. In 2017, I was the first Grammar student ever to have achieved an NZQA Scholarship in Economics in Fifth Form (Year 11).

Economics Competitions

In 2019, I was the first-ever Auckland Grammar student to win a Gold Award in the New Zealand Economics Olympiad. I was selected to represent New Zealand at the International Economics Olympiad in St Petersburg, Russia. Unfortunately, due to a clash with the World Schools' Debating Championship, I could not attend. In 2019, I was also Governor of the Auckland Grammar School team who were runners-up in the Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Challenge, where teams have to simulate the creation of a Monetary Policy Statement and the setting of the OCR. In 2018, I was National Champion of the New Zealand Economics Competition, in the Year 12 division.

Student Representative on the Board of Trustees

In 2018, I became Auckland Grammar’s first elected student representative on the Board of Trustees. As a fully-empowered trustee of the school, one of the largest in the country, I am responsible for bringing a student voice to the governance of the school, while being involved in all the usual strategic work of a board of a Crown Entity.

Captain of Debating

In 2019, I was named Captain of Debating, with responsibility for leading the Premier Advanced team and mentoring younger debaters, including being coach of a Junior Open team and one of two Student Adjudicators in Auckland. Relatedly, in 2018, I won the Martin Sullivan Prize for Public Speaking, awarded to the best public speaker at Auckland Grammar, based on an academic and persuasive speech on a high-brow topic.

Founder and President of the Auckland Grammar School Forum

I founded the Auckland Grammar School Forum, as a venue for political discussion and debate for Auckland Grammar students in 2016. As the student President of the Forum, I organize and participate in many of the debates and organize the logistical operation of the group in concert with the Master-in-Charge.

I am also occasionally involved in the Programming Group, tutoring those learning to code, while also participating in high-level international and domestic competitions, like the Australian Invitational Informatics Olympiad and the New Zealand Informatics Competition. In addition, I am a member of the Comittee of the Auckland Grammar Investment Club, which organises guest speakers from business and politics to speak to boys interested in the financial services industry.

New Zealand Schools' Debating Council— New Zealand Team Member

March 2018 - Present

I have been debating since 2016. In 2019, I was named as a member of both the Auckland and New Zealand representative teams. I represented New Zealand at the World Schools' Debating Championship 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand and the pre-Worlds tournament in Chennai. My most notable achievements in debating include:

  • Being named Best Speaker at the 2019 New Zealand Schools' Debating Championships and leading the Auckland Blue regional team which went undefeated to the finals of the 2019 New Zealand Schools' Debating Championships,
  • Captaining the Auckland Grammar School team which won the 2019 Auckland Seasonal Debating Tournament and was runner-up in the 2019 Auckland Regional Championship
  • Winning Most Promising Speaker and 2nd-Ranked Individual Speaker at the inaugural 2018 New Zealand Schools’ British Parliamentary Debating Championship,

New Zealand Olympiad in Informatics — National Training Squad

March 2016 - Present

As a member of the NZOI National Training Squad, I have participated in many national and international informatics (applied computer science) olympiads, including the Australian Invitational Informatics Olympiad and the French-Australian Regional Informatics Olympiad and attended training camps on computer science and algorithm design, recieving lectures from leading academic computer scientists.


Referee — Auckland Rugby Referees Association

March 2016 - Present

I am a volunteer rugby union referee for the Auckland Rugby Union. This role includes officiating grades from Under 12s through to 4th Grade high school rugby and assistant refereeing a variety of games at various levels.

High School Ambassador — UN Youth Auckland

Ambassador: January 2019 - Present; Participant: March 2015 - Present

I have been involved in Model United Nations (MUN) and UN Youth New Zealand since 2015. I have attended each of the three national events run by the organisation multiple times and various events run by the Auckland region and in schools across the region. In 2019, I was named one of the High School Ambassadors for Auckland Grammar School. This has involved encouraging boys to get involved in UN Youth events and being a member of the Organising Comittee for the 2019 Epsom Girls' Grammar School Model UN, held in conjunction with Auckland Grammar. Particular highlights of my UN Youth involvement include:

  • Being one of four New Zealand representatives at the Evatt National Finals in Australia, and
  • Receiving the Scholarship of the Embassy of the United States of America to the 2018 New Zealand Model United Nations.

Contact Me

Email Twitter LinkedIn