Taxpayer Subsidises Establishment Parties

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.


Cast your vote now

Showing 13 reactions

  • lesley haddon
    commented 2017-06-14 07:16:46 +1200
    I have been watching the TV program WhatNext hosted by Latta/Campbell. There seems to be many crossovers with TOP policies. The universal wage for instance, and the need for Business to have a social and environmental conscious. And the need to treat the poor with compassion for the good of all.
  • Oliver Krollmann
    followed this page 2017-06-13 22:01:25 +1200
  • Philip Lissaman
    commented 2017-06-13 21:06:29 +1200
    I understand the sentiments but the very good message still needs to get out there to new/swing voters. You cannot rely on the media to understand and relate the full detail and principles. So some advertising is a necessary evil. Or pay a worthy personality well ‘in the hope’ they will be generous to a worthy charity (surely there are no rules against a paid person giving to charity?)
  • Sheryl Dawn Mike Shennen
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-12 15:59:14 +1200
    Taxpayer Subsidises Establishment Parties
  • lesley haddon
    commented 2017-06-12 15:40:12 +1200
    I saw you on Q&A. Great publicity for the evening news. Shame they used Matts reaction. Isn’t he a Labour employee. He couldn’t be anything but negative. I got the impression he didn’t know his subject. On the otherhand Fran was brilliant. Keep thinking outside the box dudes. NZ desperately needs a change of leadership.
  • Bernard Wall
    commented 2017-06-12 13:04:00 +1200
    Look at the promises made by politicians before they got found out. Osborne said he was going to pull the bankers into line. Cameron said he was going to reform the EU. Sturgeon said she was going to swap London for Brussels as her master. Miliband said he could deal with anything, any place. Trump was going to drain swamps, build walls and clean up the Wall Street casino. Macron was going to cut overmanning, increase wages, increase corporate profits and slash budgets. Corbyn was going to make everything free, and shoot anyone who threatened freedom.
    All I ask, Gareth, is that you actually do what you say you will. Even Donald, agree with his views or not, has been a disappointment. Don’t do that to us!
  • Paul Elwell-Sutton
    commented 2017-06-12 12:55:26 +1200
    I think all funding for political campaigning should be strictly and transparently capped, and its not a bad idea for such funds to come from the public purse. Irrespective of size, once a party has reached a threshold of support in terms of numbers of members, it should receive that funding.
  • Ben Vanderpoel
    followed this page 2017-06-12 08:56:03 +1200
  • Gareth Haman
    commented 2017-06-11 20:34:57 +1200
    A clever marketing idea, but one that will bring positive change, regardless of whether it results in votes. I look forward to seeing if any of the big political parties try following suit, or stick with dirty politics and mud slinging?
  • Alistair Newbould
    commented 2017-06-11 17:12:12 +1200
    Paul, this is just clever use of money, but it needs our help. You are correct bums on seats in parliament is needed. A decent vote for TOP in September means reaching the thinking electorate and changing the minds of the silent non voting million. This is where social media can play a huge role. Link to this page, ask for “shares” get people listening to the facts not the jargon, voting for policy and not degrading elections to the level of a poplarity contest. Because who would vote for Gareth on that basis ;-)
  • Arran Whiteford
    commented 2017-06-11 14:21:35 +1200
    I’m quite happy with taxpayer funded campaigns as it probably reduces the power of lobbies.
  • Richard Cruice
    commented 2017-06-11 12:19:58 +1200
    So so true about the waste of money. Just a thought but the 40k they are giving you. Why not just go to Salvation army or some other respected charity and contract some extras at exorbitant rates. Pay them the PM’s daily pay rate for the day to be in your ad. Get some soundbites about the inequality present in the country from the contrast between being paid like a politician for a day compared to the reality those same politicians have inflicted on fellow humans.
  • Margy Hoskins
    commented 2017-06-11 11:23:36 +1200
    Well done Gareth, on Q & A program this morning.
    I think half the media do not read or understand your policies, and their questioning comes across (to me) as biased towards traditional political ideas and “politic speak”.
    I like the direct approach. The panel had some useful comments, especially the two ladies on the panel. Rather ‘talked over the top of’ by Matt in the middle. ?