State of the Parties: The Opportunities Party report card
Newshub's politics team has taken a good hard look at New Zealand's political parties and ranked them in key areas. Here's Jenna Lynch's take on The Opportunities Party (TOP).
OPINION: Lock up your cats: Gareth Morgan's in town and he wants to make a big bang with his new party. So how's it looking?
Gareth Morgan is a self-defined anti-establishment politician. "I guess I'm a bit like Trump," he told us all as he launched his party.
He's partly right. Yes, Morgan is rough around the edges, but not quite as rough as Trump. And unlike Trump, he doesn't have the base of a Grand Old Party to get him started. He does, however, have the opportunity to mobilise the disenfranchised in the same way Brexit and Trump did.
Then again New Zealanders told the last rich dude who created a party (remember Kim Dotcom?) exactly where to go. We'll have to wait and see on this one - a pass mark so far.
Morgan is going hell for leather on a tour of the country - he's ditched the motorbike for his van, and he's packing out halls. His social media presence is on point, complete with a self-deprecating explainer on why he wants your vote.
Morgan's riding the anti-establishment wave without going down the populist policy route.
See report cards for all parties:
Thanks to years of research from the Morgan Foundation, TOP came armed and ready to fight with explosive controversial policies. Why so controversial? Morgan doesn't care what's going to win him votes.
Homeowners - you'll be taxed on your asset. Oldies - sorry, your super will be means tested. Farmers - you'll be charged for every drop of water you use.
Because he doesn't care about pissing people off, Morgan's just putting out policy that he thinks will genuinely change New Zealand for the better - he thinks these policies will close the gap between the rich and the poor. This is what we hope most politicians get into the game for - to better the country. Too often our politicians are driven by the polls. So TOP - you get top marks for bucking that tired old trend.
Fresh Face Factor: C
Well technically all of this lot are fresh faces - maybe too fresh. With the exception of Morgan and TOP's Auckland Central candidate Mika Haka, most of them are new to our eyes - unrecognisable. TOP could do with a good recruitment drive to get big names behind Morgan.
Outlook for September: F
Despite their great marks for policy and vibe the party is failing to get cut through, polling at just 0.8 percent. Without Gareth Morgan standing for a seat his party needs to reach the 5 percent threshold to make it into Parliament - a road which might might prove harder to navigate than a motorbike trip through North Korea. Sorry Gareth - this one looks like a fail.
Jenna Lynch is a Newshub political reporter.