Auckland The Opportunities Party candidate resigns in scathing online post

Joshua Love has resigned from his position but will still run in the election.
Joshua Love has resigned from his position but will still run in the election. Photo credit: Facebook/ Joshua Love for Auckland Central

The Auckland Central candidate for The Opportunities Party (TOP) has resigned from his role in a scathing post online.

In a recently deleted Facebook post, Joshua Love announced he is leaving the political party and will now stand as an independent candidate during the upcoming general election.

"The Opportunities Party has some great policies but is the worst organisation I've worked for," the business owner said.

"A bunch for grown educated adults who take three months to decide on a colour scheme, for example. Unless I was the leader of the party I would have no faith in their organisation being able to follow through on their promises. 

"I would give them a chance for a rebuttal but they didn't give me mine."

Love also shared a video reading from a letter on "conduct review" which was sent to him by the party on Tuesday.

"'It has been brought to the attention of the board that there have been several instances where your conduct falls below the standard for TOP candidates,'" the letter says.

Love said he wanted to "rebut" the allegations he was aggressive and confrontational on several occasions, but admitted to some other accusations.

One complaint made by an unnamed board member was that Love had turned up to a meeting hungover, and behaved in an "entirely unacceptable" manner and was "aggressive and confrontational to the point that you made the board member feel unsafe".

But Love says he was brought to the meeting on false pretences and was frustrated and unhappy so he left.  He says he was never aggressive and CCTV should be able to prove it.

Love told Newshub he had been thinking about leaving the party before he received the letter.

"I had been quietly considering it due to what I perceived as inability to run a political organisation efficiently. But the letter outlining accusations without evidence was the last straw."

He said he had deleted the post because he never worked for TOP.

"I should have said: 'the most unorganised organisation I have volunteered for.'"

TOP leader Geoff Simmons said Love resigned after he received a warning regarding "serious concerns about his conduct and level of professionalism".

"We wrote to Joshua privately to clarify the standards most Kiwis expect of their politicians. Judging by his response, he was not willing to live up to those standards," Simmons said.

"We sought to work with Joshua on these areas of concern, and continued to offer him support. Rather than taking on board this feedback, Joshua has decided to leave TOP and we wish him all the best."

Simmons says they are excited for the election and their policies have been really well received.

"We are also pleased to note that while Joshua has decided to go his own way, even in parting he acknowledges that we are the evidence-based party with real solutions to today's big problems." 

Love says he is now looking towards the next election and says he is "very excited to show the people of Auckland Central why I'm worth a vote". 

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