GUEST BLOG: The Opportunities Party – Not Left, Not Right, Just What Works

By   /   July 28, 2017  /   38 Comments

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We are so used to partisan politics, it can be a bit uncomfortable to deal with a political party that doesn’t fit into the usual boxes. People tend to pick a side, a tribe – left or right, red or blue – and they want to know if The Opportunities Party (TOP) are part of their tribe too.

We are so used to partisan politics, it can be a bit uncomfortable to deal with a political party that doesn’t fit into the usual boxes. People tend to pick a side, a tribe – left or right, red or blue – and they want to know if The Opportunities Party (TOP) are part of their tribe too.

TOP will respond to the evidence and is prepared to work with either establishment party. That appeals to voters who are tired of the mud slinging of partisan politics. For those who are accustomed to the mud however, the response is puzzling. The puzzled then often ask you which party you really want to work with, as if your first answer was just spin and there is a secret tucked underneath. Others just assume you must really be with the enemy, and are lying like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This blog from LeftWin is very much in this second camp.

People are used to this approach from Winston, but then we also understand he doesn’t really have a coherent policy approach, he will just chase votes like a dog chasing cars. Is TOP pro business or pro union? Neither. Some unions do a great job, just like some businesses do. Some unions also work the system in their favour, just like some businesses do. Reality is so much messier and more complicated once we step outside our entrenched camps.

As examples let’s look at the two issues raised in the blog – social housing and minimum wages.

 

Social Housing

This one really shouldn’t be too hard for someone that cares to get their head around it. We clearly have an underinvestment in social housing and there are plenty of complaints about the service offered by Housing NZ. The old fashioned solution put forward by Labour and the Greens is to throw more money at the problem. By contrast National have tried and failed to sell the houses off to a sector that can’t afford to buy them at anything like their book value.

Overseas, stock transfers (gifting government housing stock to the community sector) have been very successful. It isn’t at all about creating a “competitive market” as LeftWin claims. The community housing sector provides a much better service, which isn’t surprising because they are run by the community for the community. Community housing providers can also offer true wraparound services without their tenants having to worry about them being involved with “government”. Concerns like discrimination from some providers can be easily overcome with regulation and ensuring tenant involvement in governance. That is far more democratic than the Housing NZ model.

But most importantly this transfer would give a massive injection of equity into the social housing sector. This would enable them to leverage private and philanthropic money to scale up and expand their housing base far quicker than Housing NZ could. In short, this means more houses which are not only good for social housing but could also trigger the development of an at-cost rental housing sector. Overseas this has been shown to be more successful at providing affordable housing than policies like the Accommodation Supplement.  

More detail on our social housing policy is available here.

Community Housing Aotearoa represents all those nasty community housing providers that LeftWin is worried about. You can find out more about them here.

 

Minimum Wage

This is a much trickier issue. We all want to see greater equality and a better standard of living particularly at the bottom end. The question is whether hiking the minimum wage is the best way to do that.

Let’s briefly look at the wider context, because what TOP is proposing is a far more radical reduction in inequality than any other party:

  • Housing is the biggest driver of inequality, so why would we use minimum wages to fix the housing crisis? TOP wants to ensure all assets, including housing, pay their fair share of tax. We will return this money raised in income tax cuts, making 80% of people better off. Any of the 50% of Kiwis renting or the 40% who have no assets at all will be substantially better off. House prices will stop rising and people will invest in businesses rather than speculation, providing better paying jobs. There simply isn’t a better policy around that will improve the economy and reduce inequality at the same time.
  • We want to end child poverty and make sure all families thrive. The problem is biggest with kids under 5, and this is also the most important time in their development. We will give all families with children under 3 $200 per week and free, fulltime high quality early childhood education for 3&4 year olds. Families in poverty with children of any age will get another $72 per week. This will be paid for by means testing superannuation – taking half the super off the richest half of superannuitants, and giving the money to those that need it.
  • We are committed to rolling out an Unconditional Basic Income, starting with over 65s, parents with children under 3 and 18-23 year olds. A UBI ensures everyone gets a basic level of support, regardless of what they are doing, without the poverty trap of losing the benefit as they earn.
  • We want to reduce the high levels of low skilled immigration that is currently suppressing wage growth at the bottom end.

Let’s look at the particulars of raising the Minimum Wage. The Government has been steadily increasing the minimum wage over time, from $12 in 2008 to $15.75 now. Throughout that time the number of people on the minimum wage has remained pretty stable at between 2-4% of jobs. This is how regulation works best, it provides a minimum that most employers should be above, just to make sure the poorest performing businesses are forced to up their game or close. Steady increases in the minimum wage help us improve productivity over time.

Now lets look at raising the minimum wage to the living wage (or 66% of the mean wage) as Labour and the Greens are proposing. LeftWin claims that hike won’t affect employment at all. Their reasoning is that by eyeballing the data from overseas there appears to be no relationship between unemployment and the minimum wage. Sadly things aren’t that simple in the real world. There are many things that influence unemployment and minimum wage is one of them, especially the level is already higher in New Zealand than any of the countries in LeftWin’s finger in the air statistical analysis.

Let’s look at some real analysis. A Treasury study back in 2016 showed that lifting the minimum wage to the living wage would benefit around one in five workers. The bad news is that many businesses simply wouldn’t be able to afford this increase in their costs. This will result in an estimated 30,000 jobs being lost (around 1 in every 100 workers), perhaps as high as 60,000 (2 in every 100).

So there you have it. In simple terms the Living Wage would be great for those 500,000 people that get a pay rise and keep their jobs, but could throw 30,000 (or more) out of work. Are we happy with that kind of trade off? TOP would prefer to keep using the minimum wage as we do now; steadily increasing it to pick off the worst employers and keep them honest. We prefer to push other ideas to raise wages and improve living standards for everyone like reducing low-skilled immigration, reducing house prices and rents, encouraging investment in well paid jobs, and reforming our tax and welfare system for the 21st Century.

So LeftWin, if you are happy sticking to your mud slinging, keep doing it. But leave TOP out of it, we aren’t interested in playing the left vs right game. We are doing more for inequality than any other party, we just aren’t doing it in the union focused way you are used to.

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38 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    “they want to know if The Opportunities Party (TOP) are part of their tribe too.”

    Sorry the policies suit the right leaning lot that looks like “Nactional” tribes!!

    Where’s the transport policy!!

    As we all have serious truck gridlocked roads all over NZ now!!!!!!!!

    • CaringCat says:

      Hey CleanGreen,
      It is a radical idea but TOP will work with anyone, left/centre/right to make NZ fairer. We have volunteers working around the country from all parties. It’s not about mud slinging, it’s about what we need to do as a country, together to make real sustained change for our people and our environment.

      And yes, I wonder when an evidence based transport policy is coming .. it will be a goodie!

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        CaringCat;
        “I wonder when an evidence based transport policy is coming .. it will be a goodie!

        It’s quite simple really,

        Just put railway back together again as was pre-National November 2008 when all provinces had a rail service!

        Now with their slash & burn only half of them do have any rail services.

        So now the trucks are taking the freight back onto the roads, with bigger heavier trucks the hillsides are falling down (according to three roading companies) due to heavy vibrations from increasing number of bigger heavier trucks..

        Look at NZ First policy on their website called “Rails of National Importance” or (RONI)

        This is far better even than the Green Party rail policy.

        NZ First will place new tracks down, removed previously from privatising since 1993 to 2007 disabling the network from any function as intended as a total system again.

    • Cemetery Jones says:

      To be fair, TOP are a new party establishing themselves in a niche role. If they can get their five percent, they might get a couple policies on things like tax, housing, UBI incorporated in one way or another in exchange for support. Pretending at this point in their existence that they are going to be that much of an influencer would be unnecessary hubris and likely to detract from a focus on those basic policies they’ve put forward. Which I quite like, it’s nice to see a minor party just stick to its knitting and focus on making an important difference where it can.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know how official it is, but they were in support of the Green’s transport policy on FB.

  2. Mike the Lefty says:

    “Means testing super…”?
    Woohoo!
    Gareth just said a few naughty words there.
    Nothing, like nothing is guaranteed to get gold carders upset than suggesting the wealthiest of them might have to justify what they get.
    Some political figure back in history suggested this (I think it was Jim Bolger but please feel free to correct me) and the reaction was so furiously negative it was quickly abandoned with the smell of electoral wipeout.
    Gareth is either very foolish or very brave.
    I think it is the latter personally, but many will go for the first.
    When I am eligible for a gold card in less than a decade’s time, I have decided I will only go on super if I can no longer work. I won’t receive any big severance payouts or gold watches. Just my holiday pay and my Kiwisaver savings.
    This country does not OWE me anything. I have paid my taxes throughout my working life and have used government services like everyone else. I was in a generation where education and health services, whilst not exactly free, were cheap and student loans were a figment of the imagination.
    This country does not OWE me so I will not stand up and demand my full entitlement to super if I do not need it.
    This country does not OWE me a cracker. It does not OWE the rich pricks who salt away their money in trusts, property speculation schemes and Cayman Island bank accounts either.
    This country OWES the children and young adults of today. My generation has simply helped itself to everything that’s good and given back little other than exploitation, war and climate change.
    They are told they have to work to keep us oldies in comfort.
    I repeat, they owe us nothing.
    We have stuffed up their world and left it for them to fix.
    WE are the ones who OWE them.
    Good on Gareth for daring to suggest it.
    I won’t be voting TOP but I still wish him success.
    Here endeth the lesson.

    • John Cussins says:

      You mention “rich pricks”. TOP’s asset tax policy, will be way more effective in addressing the issue of equitable taxation. Go on Care, Think, Vote…TOP

      • fatty says:

        TOP offers those of us on the left nothing. The TOP might tax the wealthy a bit more. Whoop-de-do.

        If we want to see a fair society we need the working class to rise up as one and overthrow the system. Morgan doesn’t get it. He thinks he’s being radical by situating himself between labour and national? Haha, please no.

    • Jp says:

      It really heartens me to see people at your age with such an attitude. Hope you’re having a nice life mate.

    • waynewhoever says:

      [Comment declined for publication. Too personal. — Scarletmod]

  3. Michal says:

    They have some really good policies – and some crap ones. But I will be voting Green. Lots of my daughter’s young friends are going to vote TOP. They are sick of the same-old, same-old.

  4. jacqueline says:

    Ah – the real reason why Gareth Morgan is standing?

    Seen this?

    Tweet by Gareth Morgan:

    “Let’s be clear, for progressive voters, the major issue this election isn’t #ChangeTheGovt it is #AnyoneButWinston #nzpol

  5. Tim says:

    Hell yeah, I’m definitely voting TOP. I agree with so many of their policies. Glad to finally see some progressive politics in NZ!

  6. Tim says:

    I’m definitely voting for TOP. So good to see some progressive policies that aren’t afraid to tackle the cause of NZs biggest problems.

  7. Penny Bright says:

    GARETH MORGAN BITES LIKE A WHITE POINTER SHARK!

    Friday 28 July 2017

    “Penny you are so into personality politics it’s sick.

    What matters is policy nothing else.

    You need to get focussed on that if you want to be anything more than idiot wind in this thread.

    Try starting by telling us just one policy that you want and why – just one.

    Then at least we can see you have some content and what it is.”

    Gareth Morgan was responding to this post I made on his TOP Facebook page:

    “In my view – you’re being conned.

    The real reason, IMO, for Gareth Morgan’s TOP is to keep this National-led Government in power, and to do that, help undermine Winston Peters and NZ First.

    Not the first time that’s been attempted.

    Remember 2014 and another millionaire, Colin Craig and his Conservative Party?

    IMO – very similar in terms of what their political purpose was – to help reduce votes for NZ First.”

    MY RESPONSE TO GARETH MORGAN 28 July 2017:

    “Actually, unlike yourself Gareth Morgan, I’m a proven anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner, with a proven track record of defending the public and the public interest.

    FYI – I’ve just come back from The Hague, having been invited to the World Justice Project 2017 International Rule of Law Forum.

    One of 400 ‘international experts’ from 75 countries.

    UPDATE FROM HER WARSHIP – THE HAGUE 14 July 2017
    5.27 am

    I ended up handing out 80 copies of my following ACTION PLAN to fellow attendees, (on the other side being the recent article by Damien Grant Sunday Star Times 9 July 2017).

    (It has been well-received.

    I have had feedback from a number of attendees that they had no idea that was the situation in New Zealand.)

    This, in my view, is the alternative to a corruption measure bring based upon ‘perception’ (ie: largely the subjective opinions of anonymous business people).

    These are objective yardsticks / milestones that can be used, in my view, to measure corruption REALITY.

    There are actually hundreds of hours of work that have gone into this ONE A4 page.)

    The question is – if New Zealand was truly ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ – wouldn’t we be the MOST transparent?

    So why doesn’t New Zealand already have the following?

    ACTION PLAN TO ENSURE ‘OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND DEMOCRATICALLY ACCOUNTABLE’ NZ GOVERNMENT AND JUDICIARY:

    1) Make ALL ‘facilitation payments’ (BRIBES) illegal.

    2) Legislate to create an NZ independent anti-corruption body, tasked with educating the public and preventing corruption.

    3) Legislate for NZ members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else) to have a legally enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’.

    4) Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002, for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    5) Make it lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government elected representatives to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    6) Make it a lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    7) Make it lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) Directors and staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    8) Fully implement and enforce the Public Records Act 2005, to ensure public records are available for public scrutiny.

    9) Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of NZ Central Government and Local Government public finances must be undertaken, to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in house’ is cost-effective for the public majority of tax payers and rate payers.

    10) Legislate for a legally enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure that they are not ‘above the law’.

    11) Legislate to provide a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    12) Ensure ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, with audio records available to parties who request them.

    13) Legislate for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists, and ‘Code of Conduct’ for lobbyists.

    14) Legislate for a ‘post-separation employment’ (‘revolving door’ ) quarantine period from the time officials leave the public service, to take up a similar role in the private sector.

    15) Legislate to make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ central or local government are sold, or long-term leased via Public Private Partnerships.

    16) Legislate to make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to central or local government elections.

    17) Legislate to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations, who are ‘whistle-blowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and and alleged corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    18) Legislate to prevent ‘State Capture’ – where vested interests get what they want, at the ‘policy’ level, before laws are passed which serve their vested interests.

    ……
    _____________________________

    Which political parties in NZ
    have such an ACTION PLAN?

    What I would like to see is AS MANY political parties/ groups / organisations and individuals ‘pick up the ball’ here and ‘help themselves’ to as many of these ‘demands’ as possible – so we get AS MANY people as possible calling for genuine transparency and accountability in New Zealand.

    “Where the people lead – the politicians will follow …”

    Politically – we need to CLEAN our country up!

    On the NZ anti- corruption front – this ACTION PLAN gives a clear path forward.

    Please folks – all I ask you to do is read carefully and consider these ACTION PLAN points, and if you agree – please SHARE?

    THANKS!

    Penny 🙂

  8. Penny Bright says:

    GARETH MORGAN BITES LIKE A WHITE POINTER SHARK!

    Friday 28 July 2017

    “Penny you are so into personality politics it’s sick.

    What matters is policy nothing else.

    You need to get focussed on that if you want to be anything more than idiot wind in this thread.

    Try starting by telling us just one policy that you want and why – just one.

    Then at least we can see you have some content and what it is.”

    Gareth Morgan was responding to this post I made on his TOP Facebook page:

    “In my view – you’re being conned.

    The real reason, IMO, for Gareth Morgan’s TOP is to keep this National-led Government in power, and to do that, help undermine Winston Peters and NZ First.

    Not the first time that’s been attempted.

    Remember 2014 and another millionaire, Colin Craig and his Conservative Party?

    IMO – very similar in terms of what their political purpose was – to help reduce votes for NZ First.”

    MY RESPONSE TO GARETH MORGAN 28 July 2017:

    “Actually, unlike yourself Gareth Morgan, I’m a proven anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner, with a proven track record of defending the public and the public interest.

    FYI – I’ve just come back from The Hague, having been invited to the World Justice Project 2017 International Rule of Law Forum.

    One of 400 ‘international experts’ from 75 countries.

    UPDATE FROM HER WARSHIP – THE HAGUE 14 July 2017
    5.27 am

    I ended up handing out 80 copies of my following ACTION PLAN to fellow attendees, (on the other side being the recent article by Damien Grant Sunday Star Times 9 July 2017).

    (It has been well-received.

    I have had feedback from a number of attendees that they had no idea that was the situation in New Zealand.)

    This, in my view, is the alternative to a corruption measure bring based upon ‘perception’ (ie: largely the subjective opinions of anonymous business people).

    These are objective yardsticks / milestones that can be used, in my view, to measure corruption REALITY.

    There are actually hundreds of hours of work that have gone into this ONE A4 page.)

    The question is – if New Zealand was truly ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ – wouldn’t we be the MOST transparent?

    So why doesn’t New Zealand already have the following?

    ACTION PLAN TO ENSURE ‘OPEN, TRANSPARENT AND DEMOCRATICALLY ACCOUNTABLE’ NZ GOVERNMENT AND JUDICIARY:

    1) Make ALL ‘facilitation payments’ (BRIBES) illegal.

    2) Legislate to create an NZ independent anti-corruption body, tasked with educating the public and preventing corruption.

    3) Legislate for NZ members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else) to have a legally enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’.

    4) Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002, for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    5) Make it lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government elected representatives to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    6) Make it a lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    7) Make it lawful, mandatory requirement for Local Government Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) Directors and staff, responsible for property or procurement, to complete a ‘Register of Interests’ which is available for public scrutiny.

    8) Fully implement and enforce the Public Records Act 2005, to ensure public records are available for public scrutiny.

    9) Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of NZ Central Government and Local Government public finances must be undertaken, to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in house’ is cost-effective for the public majority of tax payers and rate payers.

    10) Legislate for a legally enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure that they are not ‘above the law’.

    11) Legislate to provide a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    12) Ensure ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, with audio records available to parties who request them.

    13) Legislate for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists, and ‘Code of Conduct’ for lobbyists.

    14) Legislate for a ‘post-separation employment’ (‘revolving door’ ) quarantine period from the time officials leave the public service, to take up a similar role in the private sector.

    15) Legislate to make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ central or local government are sold, or long-term leased via Public Private Partnerships.

    16) Legislate to make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to central or local government elections.

    17) Legislate to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations, who are ‘whistle-blowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and and alleged corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    18) Legislate to prevent ‘State Capture’ – where vested interests get what they want, at the ‘policy’ level, before laws are passed which serve their vested interests.

    ……
    _____________________________

    Which political parties in NZ
    have such an ACTION PLAN?

    What I would like to see is AS MANY political parties/ groups / organisations and individuals ‘pick up the ball’ here and ‘help themselves’ to as many of these ‘demands’ as possible – so we get AS MANY people as possible calling for genuine transparency and accountability in New Zealand.

    “Where the people lead – the politicians will follow …”

    Politically – we need to CLEAN our country up!

    On the NZ anti- corruption front – this ACTION PLAN gives a clear path forward.

    Please folks – all I ask you to do is read carefully and consider these ACTION PLAN points, and if you agree – please SHARE?

    THANKS!

    Penny 🙂

    #StopCorruption
    #OpenTheBooks
    #ImplementAndEnforceThePublicRecordsAct
    #WJForum

  9. Stuart Munro says:

    We’ve become somewhat cynical about parties that are “neither left nor right” but end up welded at the hip to the Gnats, like the atrocious Peter Dunne.

    • greg says:

      Why didn’t Andrew Little stand in Ohariu?

      • Richard Christie says:

        He thought it better to have that National Rifle Association rep stand.

        • Cemetery Jones says:

          Oh come now, if O’Connor was NZ’s own NRA man, he’d be advocating for *us* being armed, not just the cops. FWIW, I reckon their new man (at the Police Assoc.) is way more ardent about arms policy than O’Connor. And in all the bad ways.

  10. Ben Peterson (leftwin) says:

    Hi TOP-

    Glad to see I’ve simulated some debate! Few quick things:
    On Housing-
    In the original critique Leftwin raised concerns that you were proposing that all state housing be “gifted”to “community providers”. You don’t dispute this, so it is worth saying what this means- this is privatisation.

    Again, I have real concerns that this is a massive transfer of wealth from public ownership into private hands. You say you are just for things “that work”. For most of NZ’s history, state housing has worked pretty well to provide a good quality housing stock to lower income earners. Dramatically moving away from a model that has successfully provided housing for millions of kiwis over the last 50 years doesn’t strike me as an exciting departure. Labour and National governments have left state housing underfunded and let the housing stock deteriorate. Rather than a new plan, this is more a dramatic escalation of bi-partisan policy to restrict state housing.

    You fail to explain why transferring state homes to community providers extends coverage? Again, one state home housing the same number of people as one community provider home. Transferring ownership leaves us standing still. You say giving equity to community providers gives them better access to charitable funding or private loans.
    Why would a big community provider have more access to charitable funds than a small provider? Charitable funds are very stable, and do not increase when the role of an organisation increases.
    Community providers already have access to commercial banks and private charity- those things are already in place, and they are clearly not keeping up with the affordable housing crisis.

    Sure, you have a range of other good policies on housing, such as a capital gains tax- I support that. But people are entitled to support good policies, and critique shitty ones. The final dismantling of any state housing system will be a real concern for many.

    On the minimum wage-
    When ever questioned on the minimum wage TOP quickly wants to change the topic to housing and its UBI policies. Again, those are nice, but being right on a UBI doesn’t mean you can’t be wrong on the minimum wage.

    TOP is presenting itself as the only party that respects “evidence” but here they are being deeply disingenuous. They repeatedly referred to Europe as an example where minimum wage rises pushed unemployment. When it was pointed out to them that the European countries with the higher minimum wage tended to have a lower rate of unemployment, rather than retracting the comment they accuse Leftwin of not living in the “real world”. Don’t know what planet TOP lives on, but Europe seems pretty real to me.

    If we want examples closer to home, we can just look at New Zealand statistics. Between 2010 and 2017 the minimum wage increased from $12.75 to $15.75. Despite this, the minimum wage has decreased from 6% to 4.9%.

    We fully agree that unemployment is a complex thing, and that many different factors can drive it. And that’s exactly our point. We need to break the myth that working people demanding a livable wage is a risk. Business profits have never been higher, and wages as a share of business costs have never been lower. Working people should challenge that logic.

    On being arrogant wankers-
    The most surprising thing is the arrogance that The Opportunities Party approaches politics. How long can you exist in politics if you think everyone who disagrees with you is a dupe or stupid?

    There are differing and conflicting positions that represent different interests. Two studies could look at an issue like privatisation, one could look at it from the perspective of a bank or financial institution, one could look at from the perspective of a community health provider. Those two studies would come up with wildly different findings and recommendations. In forming policy it’s not enough to just say “what ever works”, because you need to decide what ends you are aiming for. The research and studies you emphasise will depend on those decisions.

    The reality is that politics is a complex game, and not everyone can be winners. There isn’t always a win-win solution. A landlord and a tenant negotiating rent aren’t on the same page. Workers and employers, the environment and industrial farming. Property developers and state housing tenants. The world is filled with a thousand little conflicts. At some point you’ve got to decide which side you’re on, and to pretend these conflicts don’t exist will end up with you on the side of the powerful.

    • Bounce27 says:

      >Sure, you have a range of other good policies on housing, such as a capital gains tax- I support that.

      It’s hard to take you seriously when you demonstrate such a lack of understanding of TOP’s Tax policies.

      Hint, it’s not a capital gains tax

    • Sam Sam says:

      Community Housing Providers Aoteroa isn’t just flipping property. They have a huge clientele ready and willing to move in. There goal is to provide housing for 500k people by 2022, you can look it up on there website. They where just one interested party among many who put bids in for surplus state houses. Another problem these community providers face is under the current rules community providers can’t on sell state houses.

      So gifting surplus state houses onto community service providers really isn’t what you think it is, ben.

      • Sam Sam says:

        Lacking trust in parliamentarians is a huge problem.

        I can see why the opposition decided to play dead and it makes perfect sense cause the Newsvendor does mention Labour and NZ1st (Andrew and Winton) and Labour and NZ1st (Andrew and Winston) are very important to the rebirth of Labour but The Greens have a bigger role.

  11. Ovicula says:

    Neither left nor right, outside the political establishment. Haha, this usually means populist right wing garbage, like their tax on the retirement home, which is a punishment for not becoming a landlord. They should change the name to TLP – The Landlords’ Party.

  12. Penny Bright says:

    Ah – the real reason why Gareth Morgan is standing?

    Seen this?

    Tweet by Gareth Morgan:

    “Let’s be clear, for progressive voters, the major issue this election isn’t #ChangeTheGovt it is #AnyoneButWinston #nzpol

    • Sam Sam says:

      Could imagine a National, ACT, NZ1st, MP, UF coalition.

      It’s conceivable but should never be allowed to happen.

      What a disaster that would be.

      It’s not totally hypothetical, but it is absurd.

      • Cemetery Jones says:

        Yeah anything’s possible when politicians smell jobs (for themselves) – but I reckon Winston’s aim depending on how the cards fall is to either a) make the left so dependent on his slice of the vote that he can call a massive amount of the shots, or b) kill everyone else on the right and make National dependent on himself. He’ll get less power under this scenario, but he’ll winnow the field ahead of the next election, making both the left and the right all the more dependent on his support.

  13. fatty says:

    Yay, a multimillionaire centrist has come to save us from two centrist establishment parties.

    That’ll fix everything…

    Weird how Morgan has spent a load of time and money on policy formation, but doesn’t have a clue about our state housing history. He is a joke, surely?

  14. quentinf says:

    I am frankly surprised that the Daily Blog allows articles from a party that is quite dearly economically neoliberal. TOP has been fairly open about its belief that the fundamentals of the economy are fine. It is a right wing, socially liberal party. Are Act and National aware that you allow posts from right wing parties? Are you going to give them space as well?

  15. Historian Pete says:

    All around the Western social democracies you can see the multi millionaire oligarchs in waiting trying to shore up their position to protect their wealth against a population that are becoming more and more impoverished with the austerity medicine being doled out. Gareth Morgan is just another one to fool the gullible. John key has done an impressive job making the rich richer. So the baton is to be passed to the next snake oil salesman.Looking at your policies on a constitution and an upper house Gareth ,I can see that your slimy plan is to impede change and to consolidate the power and position of the super rich ,rather than to promote Democracy.These policies would do the direct opposite!!!

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      100% Pete I feel you are right there.

      “Gareth ,I can see that your slimy plan is to impede change and to consolidate the power and position of the super rich”

    • John W says:

      +1 Pete.

      But there is more happening than just suicidal business as usual promoted by Top and others in the dreamland of small changes will get me in.

  16. Doubting Thomas says:

    Bob Jones allowed Rob Muldoon to be unelected back in 1984, by splitting the vote. Jones benefited nicely under Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and other ACT acolytes. Sorted for Bob.

    Will Gareth Morgan personally benefit by reining in some of the missing millions with the promise of UBI for 18-25 year olds? They are less likely to vote Labour or Greens with $200 in their back pockets, courtesy of TOP? That will leave the field open for National, ACT, UF and the Maori Party.

    4th term for National, thanks to Gareth. Inequality getting worse and Gareth retires to a cat-free bach by the sea.

    Sorted.