New to politics, I come to TOP fresh from a couple of decades of business adventuring — 13 years running my own communications agency in Auckland followed by a stint as vice president of a New Zealand-led US startup, and most of the past four years as the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of a technology startup in Beijing, China.
These experiences have given me valuable perspectives on New Zealand as a nation and New Zealanders as a people — especially my time in China. Compared to China we have so many obvious advantages: social, political and environmental. In fact, it’s hard not to be complacent and that’s precisely the issue.
When it comes to leveraging our advantages, it’s clear to me that New Zealand is underperforming as a nation. Even the most successful of us are inclined to let ourselves off the hook, citing our small size and remote location. But both of these conditions can be unique strengths if we better position ourselves to take advantage of them.
Failing to take advantage of our strengths is one thing.
Allowing the unique things that we love about New Zealand to be undermined is much more concerning.
It’s time to fix that, and that’s why I joined The Opportunities Party.
I’m not here to participate in establishment politics. I’m just a Kiwi guy with a strong belief in our country’s traditional values of fairness and equity, and a growing sense of frustration at the way those values are being eroded; the way our environment is being treated; the way the needs of the most vulnerable members of New Zealand society are being overlooked.
I’m proud to represent a Party that has the courage of its convictions and is unwilling to shy away from solid, evidence-based policy for fear of being unpopular. We’re bold enough, smart enough, and committed enough, to address the root causes of our issues as a nation, not just concoct complicated work-arounds that — at best — only address the symptoms.
To me, “care, think, vote” isn’t a cute slogan, it’s a recipe for a better New Zealand. I’m in. I hope you are too.