Opportunities Party reveals Mt Albert candidate, new slogan

The Opportunities Party has entered the Mt Albert by-election, in doing so pulling a U-turn on standing candidates.

Party founder Gareth Morgan made an announcement outside the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall at 11am on Wednesday - just an hour before nominations for the by-election officially close.

opportunities party gareth morgan mt albert
Mt Albert residents will be seeing the van roaming their electorate (Lloyd Burr / Newshub.)

He announced Geoff Simmons as the party's candidate. Mr Simmons is currently an economist for the Morgan Foundation.

They also announced the party's new slogan - Make New Zealand Fair Again.

the opportunities party gareth morgan mt albert
The party made the announcement an hour before nominations closed (Lloyd Burr / Newshub.)

The Morgan Foundation has listed Mr Simmons as being "on leave of absence" on their personnel page. He graduated from Auckland Universtity with an honours degree in economics and has worked for Treasury as well as in the UK civil service.  

National and ACT have boycotted the February 25 by-election and will not contest it. It was prompted by the resignation of former Labour leader David Shearer who has taken up a job with the United Nations in South Sudan.

Labour's Jacinda Ardern, Green MP Julie Anne Genter, People Before Profit's Joe Carolan and the New Zealand People Party's Vin Tomar are the only ones to put their hats in the ring so far.

A tilt at the seat by The Opportunities Party is a marked contrast from when Dr Morgan unveiled the party last year. He said it would be a list-only party and he wouldn't contest any electorate seats.


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