The Opportunities Party won't deregister, will make comeback with new leader

There's a good chance Gareth Morgan's The Opportunities Party could get a second opportunity with a new leader.
There's a good chance Gareth Morgan's The Opportunities Party could get a second opportunity with a new leader. Photo credit: Newshub.

There's a good chance Gareth Morgan's The Opportunities Party (TOP) could get a second opportunity - with a new leader.

The philanthropist announced he would be deregistering the party on July 9, some 10 months after it failed to clear the 5 percent threshold for a seat in Parliament.

But those plans are now on hold, according to a surprising post on TOP's official Facebook page penned by Mr Morgan himself.

"Well, well, well - that sparked something!" it reads.

"My July 16 invitation to anyone interested to "form a political party with principles" has garnered many expressions of interest, including some pretty compelling ones from members of The Opportunities Party."

On July 12, Mr Morgan tweeted that he would be happy to fund a "credible successor" for party leader, provided they remained true to TOP's manifesto.

"Happy to fund any credible successor that puts best practice policy first and foremost, no compromise, no pampering to tax-privileged, owner-occupying property elite or their offspring," he wrote.

"Only prosperity based on a foundation of fairness endures. Identity politics fans need not apply."

He has apparently been inundated with offers, causing him to suspend the deregistration process to "give us time to evaluate the offers".

"I have to say that at this time it is looking pretty good and we expect to make an announcement in August."

Mr Morgan says whoever he hands the leadership reins to will need to promote the party's values without watering them down, in contrast to what he calls "caretaker regimes" which inhibit progress in favour of preserving the political status quo.

"Most commonly such parties end up failing to make significant progress that is in the interest of the whole electorate," he wrote.

"There was no way I was ever interested in TOP becoming another also-ran, long-serving party that protects inertia and thwarts progress.

"We have several of those and they don't add value. My interpretation of MMP was that it would enable a party such as ours to have influence on the Establishment parties that roll on over the decades being little more than caretakers of the status quo.

"So August will be exciting for us as we come to this final decision on what form TOP's legacy will take. Fingers crossed."

There have been reports that Dr Lance O'Sullivan was in talks to take over as leader, but ended up pulling out.

Newshub.