The Government has just announced it will provide $4 million of taxpayer funds for political advertising. Both National and Labour each get over $1 million, and the other two Establishment parties of The Greens and NZ First get about half of that to blow on promoting themselves.
This presents us at The Opportunities Party (TOP) with something of a dilemma as one of our platforms is far more efficient use of taxpayer dollars and another is resetting democracy so ordinary New Zealanders of modest means can enter the political process. We regard as anti-democratic excluding from the political process, new parties that aren’t over-endowed with finances. National is likely to spend more than $5 million on this year’s election and Labour more than $3 million, so it’s not as though either actually needs additional money from the taxpayer.
However realistically if The Opportunities Party wants to compete with these Establishment parties then a level playing field dictates we have to match them on promotional spend. The taxpayer is offering us $40k to help that. We’ve been told we must spend it on advertising otherwise it will be given to our competitors. We can’t give it to charity, we are told we must use it for advertising. That sucks.
So we’ve been wracking our brains as to how we can avoid wasting money on advertising but at the same time raise public awareness of the solutions we offer to meet New Zealand’s challenges. And here’s our idea – we’d like to offer the public the chance to direct the money that TOP would otherwise have to spend on competitive advertising – about $1 million – to NZ charities instead. Now as well, we need you to acknowledge at least that you’re aware of TOP, that you have looked at our material – but instead of us spending so much money on adverts to inform you of our policies, we would far prefer to direct that $1 million to well-deserving NZ charities.
Here’s how you can help. Pick one of the four charities nominated – all well-established, iconic NZ causes, then provide us your details (which confirms you’re a real person, that you’re happy to at least receive our information) and then $3 will be transferred from our advertising budget to the charity of your choice. Once 333,000 Kiwis have done that, then $1 million of our funds will have been sent to those who actually need it, rather than blown on advertising.
So if you care enough to make a difference, then think how it is we’ve allowed elections to become a question of money and instead vote for the charity you’d rather see benefit from the stand your taking.