RAF MANJI – LEADER OF THE OPPORTUNITIES PARTY
Raf’s story is about answering the call to serve.
It’s about how a varied career spanning global markets and strategy, turned into a pursuit for fairness and opportunity for the people of Christchurch post-earthquake. Now Leader of The Opportunities Party (TOP), Raf is taking that same independent thinking, collaborative action and commitment to opportunities for all, to the halls of Parliament.
In 2002, Raf and his family left London and started calling Christchurch home. A decade and a regional disaster later, he put aside his corporate governance and social enterprise work to serve as a Christchurch City Councillor from 2013 to 2019. As Chair of the Finance Committee, Raf focused on the council's financial position, insurance settlements and post-earthquake strategic direction. He learned how to turn talk in central and local government boardrooms, to action on the ground for people that are hurting.
Service runs deep for Raf. In addition to his city’s recovery effort, he supported the families of the March 15th terror attack through his work with the Christchurch Foundation and has helped lead the Volunteer Student Army, Asian NZ Foundation, Christchurch Resettlement Services, Christchurch Budget Service Trust, Pillars and the Christchurch Arts Festival. More recently he’s worked with the Human Rights Commission and the NZ Police Assurance and Risk Committee.
Raf sees his own values reflected in The Opportunities Party - fairness for all, independent thinking and a commitment to bold action that makes a difference.
With economics, political science and law degrees under his belt and decades spent examining the friction between the public and private space - Raf wants to ‘redo the plumbing’ of our systems. He sees bold reform in the big pillars of our society – like monetary policy, administration, climate response, welfare and tax - as the pathway to genuine opportunities for all.
In 2017, Raf gave a TEDx Christchurch talk about Universal Basic Income and Civic Responsibility.
And in 2023, Raf is running in the Ilam electorate in Christchurch – a place he calls ‘the Goldilocks city, because it’s not too big, not too small and has everything you could want’. You’ll find him there, out walking with his family, practicing the occasional yoga, or pitching in where it’s needed.