On Backbenches last night Green Party candidate Golriz Ghahraman refused to be drawn on any details of the Green Party immigration policy. Their policy appears to be to talk about it in terms of values only, but who and how many people do they want coming into the country? It is the inability of the Green Party to face up to these basic tough questions that leaves one feeling a bit uneasy about them being in government.Read more
The future for New Zealand dairy products remains providing ingredients to global markets. Consumer goods and the so-called “high value” those products offer remains a fanciful destination for our dairy industry as it is currently structured. We have long been a high volume producer of pasture-fed milk whose competitive advantage lies in low costs – low enough to outweigh the tyranny of distance from our main markets.Read more
With all the talk of the housing crisis, here’s a few facts to bear in mind.
According to the last census, we have an estimated 185,000 unoccupied dwellings - just over 10% of all houses. That is more empty houses as a % of total houses than ever in recorded history; at the end of WWII it was half of that. Of course many of these will be baches/ 2nd or 3rd homes in the Coromandel or Wanaka. The houses in these areas spend most of the year less than half occupied. However, even in Auckland we have over 30,000 unoccupied dwellings – over 6%.Read more
In New Zealand, there are certain things you are not allowed to do on election day which may influence peoples vote. These things can lead to a fine or imprisonment and it's important you read the document below.
It isn’t a Water Tax, it is a Water Price.
Farmers and their mates in the National Party have been quick to label any charge on water a ‘tax’, and claim it will push up the cost of everything from a glass of water to milk or even beer. They are wrong on all counts; pricing water would not only raise revenue to clean up our waterways, but if managed well would actually be good for our economy.Read more
The country’s leading freshwater scientist, Dr Mike Joy, has endorsed The Opportunities Party ahead of Saturday’s general election.Read more
There has been some talk about a vote for TOP being a wasted vote. Let’s look at what the evidence actually tells us. We commissioned a market research company to investigate voters’ attitudes to our party.
(1) Their polling indicates that 1.5% of New Zealanders are committed TOP voters, no matter what. This aligns well with the landline poll results that have us hovering around 2%.
(2) It indicates a further 3% are “most likely” to vote TOP. This takes us to 4-5%. This result aligns well with our internal internet-based polling which tends to be 1-2% higher than the official polls (which is why we question those landline polls!).
(3) Finally the market research indicates another 11% are “considering” voting TOP.Read more
Currently young people are locked out of owning their own farm. They have to buy a farm at an exorbitant price, chalking up a huge debt in the process. They can never expect to generate enough income to pay off the debt through farming, and instead have to hope that the price of the land keeps rising. The old ways of building up the capital to buy a farm such as share milking are dying off, blocking off the few remaining pathways for youngsters. Hence we see the rise of farm hands and managers (many from overseas) and the ageing of owners.Read more
Tax has become a lightning rod in this election. It’s a worry, therefore, that Labour has been caught out for making up its tax policy on the hoof and have rapidly back-tracked. Meanwhile National are too timid to move from the status quo, despite glaring holes in the current tax system.Read more
The Opportunities Party Leader Dr Gareth Morgan says today’s decision by the Labour Party to abandon any major reforms of the tax system until 2021, is a betrayal of those who have already cast their votes expecting any real change to the worsening statistics around social equality and the housing crisis.Read more