Can The Opportunities Party make a new impression?

The Opportunities Party (TOP) was generally seen as Gareth Morgan’s thing, and certainly it was his large dollops of money that gave the party prominence.

Morgan toured the country generally making a good impression to audiences that included me – he did well in front of a good sized crowd in Dunedin. However Morgan gave very mixed performances on social media, and mainstream media promoted the weirder side of him, which didn’t help his cause.

And Morgan always said he personally wasn’t really interested in being an MP, but put himself at the top of the party list. That was bizarre.

In one respect TOP was quite successful. Here’s some comparisons for recent first attempts:

  • TOP (2017): 2.4% (63,261 votes)
  • Internet MANA (2014): 1.42% (34,095 votes)
  • Conservative Party (2011): 2.65% (59,237

They were all headlined by rich people who piled cash into their campaigns, Morgan, Kim Dotcom and Colin Craig.

Of course the problem for TOP was our ridiculously high MMP threshold of 5%. They didn’t like getting close enough, so the media didn’t rate their chances, and the public voted accordingly.

This year Morgan announced that he was pulling the plug on TOP, but has since changed his mind. He will be on the new organisation board and will stay on as chair of the party’s policy formation committee

Geoff Simmons has taken over as leader – he looks like a sensible person promoting mostly sensible well researched policies, but that’s not likely to interest the media much, who seem to give precedence to rich and flawed leaders.


We are pleased to announce that The Opportunities Party will contest the 2020 election.

“The general thrust of the policy will be the same.”
“We want to make sure that future generations have as good a life as their parents.”

We want a prosperous, fair and equitable society, underpinned by a sustainable and dynamic economy that protects our natural environment. We want a New Zealand which maximises the opportunity of every New Zealander to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

New leadership. New energy. Same radical policies like:

Fixing the housing market with a better tax system – Supporting individuals, families and communities to reach their potential – Repairing our broken environment

The financial reality of running a political party is an enormous challenge. And we can’t do it alone.

Help us create a better New Zealand. For all New Zealanders.

$191,315.00 raised

GOAL: $550,000.00


Bryce Edwards: TOP set to pull youth voters, says political commentator

Despite an unexpected leadership change and surprise plans to contend the 2020 election, the Opportunities Party (TOP) is likely to capture the youth vote, according to a political commentator.

Bryce Edwards, politics lecturer at Victoria University, says the minor party is likely to continue to have major appeal to younger voters, due to TOP’s policy narrative that youth are being overlooked by other political parties.

“One of [TOP’s] key campaigning areas is . . . running this line that there’s been some sort of generation theft or generational bias to the [Government’s] current policy settings.”

Mr Edwards told Te Waha Nui that the presence of smaller parties in the political sphere offered voters more options. He says this can reinvigorate political participation and interest across the board, including within the youth demographic.

I’m not sure whether TOP will appeal to younger voters as opposed to more astute older voters looking for a decent alternative.

Comments on Edwards’ article at Reddit – Bryce Edwards: Why TOP will struggle by Bryce Edwards

TOP may get a percent or two of support again but unless the threshold is lowered they are unlikely to look like a realistic prospect of getting over the line in 2020, unless media pick up on something they think is good click bait and give them good coverage.

They will probably compete with the Greens more than any party for votes, would make the Green recovery a bit harder.

They need more than Morgan staying out of the spotlight and Simmons leading the party – I think they would benefit from having a number of electable looking people promoted. They need to be seen as something unique in the political mix.

20 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 23, 2018

    Simmons lacks common sense IMO. He’ll endorse silly policies which will turn people off.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 23, 2018

      Change the name to People’s Liberating Opportunities Party.

    • Mefrostate

       /  August 23, 2018

      Which ones?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 23, 2018

        Time will tell.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 23, 2018

          Maybe ban cats and tax all assets.

          • Mefrostate

             /  August 23, 2018

            Taxing wealth and reducing PAYE is not a silly policy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 23, 2018

              A lot of people will disagree with you.

            • Mefrostate

               /  August 24, 2018

              People who want to protect their wealth, despite it being bad for the country overall, sure.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 24, 2018

              All the retirees who paid PAYE all their lives and now have to support those who don’t with no income to do it with.

            • Blazer

               /  August 24, 2018

              very funny Al.. you and all the other old bludgers ,thanks to Nationals pork barrel politics and subsequent cowardly administrations mean ..the young pay for the old and idle till they depart.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 24, 2018

              Won’t hsppen, B. As I said, TOP will endorse silly policies and fail.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  August 23, 2018

            Tax all cats and ban all assets ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 23, 2018

              Taxing wealth means a real disincentive to have a successful business.

              The result of the 95% (or more) income tax in the UK was predictable; people emigrated or found tax havens,

              Why would someone slave away at a business if they took home 5% of what they had earned ? They might as well work in a shop for the same money and less stress.

              People like Noel Coward couldn’t afford to live in the UK and ended up as tax exiles.

              The writer, Astrid Lindgren, paid more tax than she earned (101%) in 70s Sweden.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 23, 2018

              Or 102%.

              Soak the rich, indeed.

            • sorethumb

               /  August 24, 2018

              J S Mill wrote about land:

              “When the sacredness of property is talked of, it should always be remembered that any such sacredness does not belong in the same degree to landed property. No man made the land: it is the inheritance of the whole species.”

              “The land of Ireland, the land of every country, belongs to the people of that country.”

            • PartisanZ

               /  August 24, 2018

              Yes, and since all wealth ultimately derives from land … the wealth belongs to the people of that country too … Non?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 25, 2018

              Bugger that.

  2. sorethumb

     /  August 24, 2018

    I think sometimes a drastic change of direction is needed but it is politically off the table (such as tax the family home). In which case they should make it their policy but (perhaps) offer a compromise? Either way TOPS should stick to the principles of best policy (evidence based versus appealing to vested interests or ideology). You have to ask yourself though to what degree people can be persuaded by logic?

    I certainly don’t go Gareth’s Maori policies.

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