Morgan/TOP touring the south

Gareth Morgan has begun his second tour of the country in his campaign for The Opportunities Party, starting in the south.

I saw him in Dunedin last night – he comes across as very well informed, passionate,  and determined to make a difference.

This is in contrast to my impression of Winston Peters (last year) and Andrew Little (earlier this year) who played to their faithful with slogan laden speeches. Morgan sounded original and was interesting right through his presentation.

On Monday: Southlanders voice their concerns at public meeting with Gareth Morgan

Mental health, the economy, environmental issues and poverty were among the concerns raised by Southlanders at an Opportunities Party meeting on Monday night.

About 100 people were at the meeting, led by party leader Gareth Morgan, and held at CentreStage in Invercargill.

Morgan said the newly founded party aimed to turn around concerns with its radical policies, and make the best of the people, economy and resources in New Zealand.

It was the second trip to Invercargill for Morgan and his team, who have been touring the country.

With New Zealand having one of the highest rates of teenage suicide, the Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) and thriving families policy would be the first step to smoothing the path to adulthood, Morgan said.

“That’s [rates of youth suicide] pretty bad. It’s just one indicator that things aren’t great,” he said.

The aim of the party was to “persuade the government to make all boats lift” and make progress as a nation, he said.

Tuesday night in Queenstown Morgan targets inequality:

Speaking at a public meeting in Queenstown last night, The Opportunities Party (Top) founder outlined sweeping economic and social reforms for tackling what he said were growing income disparities among New Zealanders.

The audience of about 50 people, ranging in age from pensioners to a toddler, were told the economy appeared to be doing ”reasonably well” on the surface.

But New Zealand had become a low-wage, ”treadmill economy” in which most people were working harder and producing more, but were not getting wealthier.

A widening gap between the asset-owning class and everyone else was causing social stress reflected in rates of youth suicide, workplace and school bullying and imprisonment that were among the highest in developed countries, Mr Morgan said.

Both of those reports sound similar content to last night.

ODT reports: Morgan impresses Dunedin audience

Mainstream political parties who underestimate Gareth Morgan’s influence in the September 23 election will do so at their peril.

Mr Morgan, the leader and founder of The Opportunities Party (Top) attracted about 200 people to hear him in South Dunedin’s Mayfair Theatre last night

That’s a good number for a new party. Morgan asked how many had been to his previous Dunedin meeting. He estimated about 1/3 of the audience had.

For 40 minutes, Mr Morgan enthralled the audience, fielding applause and laughter as he outlined only one policy – although it was a very wide-ranging and quite detailed policy -before taking questions.

”I promised I would only talk about one policy tonight, otherwise I would have you all in a coma,” he said to much laughter. When the economist-turned-investor and now politician formed his party, much was made about his style of delivery, which was described as dry and casual.

Although he was dressed casually, often with his hands in his pockets, those attending last night paid close attention to what he was saying.

It was different to normal polispeak, he is very much a non-politician politician.

Mr Morgan’s delivery was slick, peppered with colourful language. He said his job was to offend everyone and often mentioning his party’s policies would go down like a ”cup of cold sick”.

His job is to battle against the same old, against the status quo in politics.

The audience ranged from those in their 20’s through to retirees. Those spoken to by the Otago Daily Times said Mr Morgan had good ideas and was talking sense, something other political parties might be wise to take note of, three months out from the election.

Given the main parties are coming across poorly and could do with a good boot up the political bum, there are votes in Morgan’s approach, but it’s a big challenge to look like getting close to the 5% needed.

I went to an Internet Party meeting in the 2014 campaign and that was very different – more showy but much less substance.

I also went to an ACT conference and David Seymour impressed, Jamie Whyte didn’t. The election result suggested that was a common impression.

The provincial media seems to be warming to Morgan, but the political media establishment in Wellington and Auckland still seem unexcited.

If anyone can shake up the political establishment this year it’s Morgan. Time will tell whether he just shakes up the campaign, or gets to also shake up Parliament.

Morgan says his intention if successful is to not take sides but to sit on the cross benches pushing for any policy gains they can get. Some of their policies are radical considering how bland National and Labour are in the main, but they are well researched and could make a good contribution to the mix.

But he has a long way to get there. The TOP van moves to Timaru today, the campaign for a party that can’t use free MP travel is a long haul.

 

16 Comments

  1. Mefrostate

     /  June 22, 2017

    I’ll almost certainly be voting for TOP. Don’t agree with all their policies, but they’re at least presenting policy grounded in evidence. I expect they’ll have strong pushback from homeowners and farmers though.

  2. PDB

     /  June 22, 2017

    YourMorganz.org is looking a goer!

    PZ: “Some of their policies are radical considering how bland National and Labour are in the main, but they are well researched and could make a good contribution to the mix.”

    Their cannabis policy is good but a UBI policy that doesn’t get rid of the benefits a UBI is meant to replace and a tax on all assets including the family home & cars with no means of getting money back if those assets devalue is a total economic disaster.

    Having fresh/new ideas doesn’t necessary equate to having good ideas.

    ODT: “The audience of about 50 people, ranging in age from pensioners to a toddler” – I’m sure the toddler made its own way there just to hear Gareth.

    • PDB

       /  June 22, 2017

      Not PZ – PG! Freudian slip!

      • Gezza

         /  June 22, 2017

        I’m sure the toddler made its own way there just to hear Gareth.
        👍 The evilness workouts are definitely showing up improvements in 👹 performance.

        • PDB

           /  June 22, 2017

          To be fair I was pointing out the absurdity of the reporting.

          • Gezza

             /  June 22, 2017

            To be honest I was teasing yaw ass off 😀

            • PDB

               /  June 22, 2017

              I can’t seem to get PG to bite about his man-crush on Gareth…….

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2017

              Sht ! See below.

  3. Gezza

     /  June 22, 2017

    👹👺

  4. sorethumb

     /  June 22, 2017

    But New Zealand had become a low-wage, ”treadmill economy” in which most people were working harder and producing more, but were not getting wealthier.
    A widening gap between the asset-owning class and everyone else was causing social stress reflected in rates of youth suicide, workplace and school bullying and imprisonment that were among the highest in developed countries, Mr Morgan said.
    ……..
    And yet John Key was extremely popular. Somehow Mr Key was Mr Rainmaker. erhaps because the construction boom fed through to so many people and the wealth effect of rising house prices and the Labour Parties weirdness (identity politics , rape culture etc)
    ……..
    I agree that Gareth Morgan’s policies are well though through (whether right or wrong). They require a common vision and trust which is going to be harder to achieve in a multicultural society (you can’t get people to make tough sacrifices in an immigration society of the sort John Key/Helen Clark were fond of).
    ………
    NZ First is a working class party and comes with working class resources (didly squat). Winston knows the media like him for his story value but most of the media are internationalists, hence Winston goes around town halls (where people pile in). Unfortunately NZ First lacks talent getting people like Brendan Horan.

  5. Pickled Possum

     /  June 22, 2017

    Damn that man Gareth! He makes some sense, if only he was pretty like jk then my vote could/would be justified.

    C Ya gotta go dig a drain

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 22, 2017

    Wonder when Morgan will tour the north. I might vote for him if he promised a public execution of the road transport authorities responsible for spending $10+M and three years upgrading the north side of the Bryndrwyns resulting in exactly the same stupid three lane highway as before but now with a reduced speed limit by 20km/h.

  1. Morgan/TOP touring the south — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition