TOP Speech Notes From Mt Albert Launch

The Opportunities Party (TOP) is going to contest the Mt Albert by-election.

While we are still nascent and so far have only announced 3 of our 7 policy priorities, let alone socialised them with the public, yet another forced by-election gives us the opportunity to do the right thing by the people of Mt Albert. 

Frankly we were a bit surprised National couldn’t be bothered. In fact it seems to be a bit of an insult to a large portion of the Mt Albert electorate – the 10,000 who voted National last time - almost as though you don’t matter. The taxpayer is paying for this by-election, one might at least expect those on the taxpayer payroll to show up. The people of Mt Albert do deserve representation from now until the election and it looks like the Nats just don’t care

Then we have this peculiar charade by the Greens & Labour, sisters in arms but happy to construct some sort of pretence that they’re competing to represent Mt Albert. It’s pretty weird. I suspect they’re doing this just as a profiling exercise.

A further irony with Jacinda and Julie Anne is that they’re both already in parliament. So whoever wins it means their party will just add another MP, and that MP will have nothing to do with Mt Albert. 

Thirdly the Greens & Labour are all about changing the government, they go on about it every day. So how can one of their MPs possibly work with the government between now and the election to improve matters for Mt Albert? Yet this is precisely what this election is about. It makes no sense.

In short the people of Mt Albert are not the priority here for either National, Labour or the Greens. You’re not being given a choice for effective representation. 

Choice is important for voters and so we welcome the opportunity to present the people of Mt Albert with a candidate who will work for you over the next 10 months or so. As a bonus, Geoff is very articulate on all our stuff and will I know enjoy debating policy with Jacinda and Julie Anne, who clearly are both quality candidates.

By the time of the by-election day, TOP will have released more of its policy priorities so the electorate will have a good idea of what we see as important.

Geoff grew up in Auckland and his family still lives in the electorate, and so he is in touch with local issues through that grapevine. I know he’ll leap at the opportunity to promote your local perspective.

Geoff clearly faces a massive challenge against two candidates with such established profiles and party machinery behind them, while TOP is hardly out of the nest. However, our rationale is that Establishment parties do little more than occupy space in Wellington, presiding pretty much over the status quo – year after year. That situation for many New Zealanders has got a lot tougher on many fronts over several decades now, due to the inertia of career politicians who pursue jobs in Establishment parties. TOP’s presence will change that.

Labour and the Green’s mantra of changing the government. is an obsession that sounds to me just like personal ambition rather than actually being interested in policy foremost. We realise that’s how career politicians think – it’s not about the best policy it’s about holding the reins, their personal careers.

So to the people of Mt Albert I ask that you give Geoff your support. He’s a TOP bloke – or should I say, will prove to be a thorn between two roses. If it’s policy you’re interested in and a voice for Mt Albert from someone who will work with whoever is in government, then Geoff Simmons is your man.”

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