Candidates for the 2017 General Election - Message from Gareth

We need to assemble a team of candidates to stand for The Opportunities Party in the upcoming general election. Not any old candidates mind you, we’re on the hunt for people with a genuine commitment to build a prosperous nation founded on a non-negotiable principle of fairness. That’s the philosophical requirement and beyond that we’re genuinely interested in people who have the talent, the intelligence and the compassion to fight for a strong economy and inclusive society that delivers benefit for all.

If you or someone you know is of that mindset please consider submitting a nomination. There’s a form to fill in below but hey, form filling can only tell us so much, go ahead and express freely why you want to play a political role in our team. For us this exercise is all about putting some grunt into political progress in our country, shaking the Establishment parties out of their inertia and getting go forward.

We’re not entering parliament to make up the numbers, to tread water and mark time. For us it’s forward or not at all – no political careerists need apply.

Where are we standing candidates?

We have yet to decide on either the number of candidates or whether we’ll stand in all, or any electorates. Personally I prefer the List as it’s the nationwide social and economic challenges that have always rocked my boat, rather than the special interests of any single geographic area. And we want colleagues with deep knowledge in these areas of national importance if we are to lead New Zealand forward on the big socio-economic challenges of our time. So the calibre of our List is really important to me.

But since we launched we’ve been approached by some pretty outstanding folk who identify strongly with their local area as well and also want to be part of this. We therefore are happy to consider representation electorate by electorate as an option for this talent. Ultimately, I suspect the decision of whether we run in a particular electorate will come down to whether we have an outstanding candidate available. There is no way we’re putting up 60 electorate candidates just because there are 60 electorates – quality comes first.  How many if any electorates we contest is an open-ended question right now – convince us.

What’s our political objective?

TOP’s 7 policy priorities will soon be all announced (2 to go) so what we’re striving for, in Stage 1 of our political life at least, is there for all to see. Purely on tactics though, our goal is to influence the government of the day, to snap them from their natural lethargy and get progress in these areas of TOP importance. We have stated on numerous occasions we’ll work with whoever is the government of the day, all that matters for us right now is our TOP 7.

So naturally for us a cross bench position is most attractive, supporting the government of the day in return for as much progress on our TOP 7 as we can negotiate. We don’t really want day to day positions in a coalition government, our goal is to get these 7 policy projects done. It’s the policy that matters, we have no interest in partisan political tribalism.

I want to persuade people with the appropriate credentials to offer themselves as a potential candidate for the sake of a healthy and dynamic democracy. I recognize it's a huge leap for someone with real talent to put their reputation up for public scrutiny and possible ridicule, especially from political foes and the trolls that contaminate social media. My take on that has been it’s worth a go, the vulnerable in New Zealand need help and we can make a difference for them. That’s how you need to look at it – the worst case scenario is you look back and can say ‘at least I tried’.

So, if this non-Establishment approach to the politics of policy reform appeals to you, and you have real subject knowledge and sufficient resilience to take the crap of politics, then you might well be the type of talent we need to make New Zealand both fair and prosperous again. Alternatively, you may know of someone who fits the bill and might be interested – we’d be keen to hear about them. 

You must be a member to nominate someone.

Look forward to hearing from you.


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