Joining-up the four I’s for NZ innovation to thrive

The Opportunities Party (TOP) announces a comprehensive economic policy suite covering action on infrastructure, investment, innovation and immigration.

“New Zealand has the potential to be a global leader in innovation” says TOP Leader Raf Manji. “But we need immediate political action that gets the settings right across the four pillars of economic dynamism.” 

TOP’s Economy policy covers a suite of simultaneous actions across the infrastructure, investment, innovation and immigration sectors. The policy supports the party’s Christchurch Plan (a $1 billion investment package into New Zealand’s second largest city), which includes investing in innovation and research through our proposal for a Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre and Laboratory.

“Unlike other parties, we see our economy as a series of interconnected systems that need stable, long-term, bipartisan planning and funding support. Our economic policy calls for action across the board - in infrastructure, investment, innovation and immigration - because we can’t afford to silo these critical sectors, or worse, turn them into political footballs to kick around every three years” says Manji. 

“TOP’s plan is bold and ambitious, but it is achievable. In 10 years time, New Zealand (and Christchurch in particular) can be the tech capital of the South Pacific - but we need to act now.” 

TOP’s economic plan includes the following key policies:


  • Develop a 30 year National Infrastructure Plan in collaboration with Local Government.
  • Develop a Long-term Funding and Financing Model using Crown Infrastructure Partners and other fit-for-purpose commercial models.
  • Introduce Long-Term Alliance Contracting Models to deliver long-term plans, workforce certainty and lower risk.
  • Use Infrastructure Funding as a pro-cyclical tool by setting nominal GDP targets.


  • Return Reserve Bank mandate to price stability only.
  • Liberalise the overseas investment framework to attract productive foreign investment and support local innovators.
  • Make Kiwisaver enrolment compulsory at birth (currently voluntary).
  • Review role of Kiwisaver contributions for freelancers/contractors, and in supporting price stability.


  • Support R&D investment by increasing tax credits.
  • Increase funding for post-doctoral research scholarships and seed-stage investment.
  • Allow accelerated depreciation and digital grants for SMEs.
  • Update and introduce appropriate regulatory frameworks for Gene Editing, Artificial Intelligence and Therapeutic Products to support research, innovation and commercial outcomes.


  • Review the Accredited Employer Visa Scheme ensuring  checks and balances to stamp out migrant worker exploitation.
  • Reduce the salary bands for Skilled Work visas, which many businesses, including our growing tech sector, say are too high.
  • Establish a new Regional Talent Visa to let regions recruit directly on behalf of local companies and sectors, easing the pressure on Auckland and attracting much-needed talent elsewhere in the country..
  • Introduce the Teal Visa to harness high net worth individuals who want to make productive investments and live in New Zealand. The Teal Visa investment will fund a new Climate Resettlement Programme. 


You can learn more about our policy proposals here.