New leader of The Opportunities Party talks 'more democratic' future


The new head of The Opportunities Party (TOP) says the party hopes to be "much more democratic" without Gareth Morgan in charge, but the old boss will still have some influence.

"Gareth's still involved; he's on our policy committee, so we still get to use his big brain, but he's not involved in the political side whatsoever," Geoff Simmons told Newshub Nation on Saturday.

"My plan is to work a lot more with the members and get a sense of where they want to see the party going and make it a much more democratic institution."

Mr Simmons says he is looking to decrease his party's financial reliance on their former leader.

"It was set up by Gareth and fully funded by Gareth, so obviously he had a lot of input into how the party ran. So we are going to be looking for a much broader funding base so that we can draw on a lot of different perspectives."

When asked whether he thought Mr Morgan had too much influence over the party, Mr Simmons said: "I think Gareth did a great job in terms of setting up the party, but in terms of a sustainable party going forward, it could never be a one-man band."

While it may have changed leaders, Mr Simmons was clear TOP would still be pursuing the same policies.

"We are going to be sticking with the policies that we formulated at the last election. Some of them will need updating, of course, to stay relevant, but the absolute general thrust will stay exactly the same - what works in the long-term."

One of TOP's proposals involves a form of capital gains tax, which Mr Simmons claims will have a significant impact on most Kiwis' financial bottom line.

"If we make assets pay their fair share, we can give quite a massive tax cut to the average Kiwi, more money in their back pocket, so that 80 percent of people will be better off."

For now, however, Mr Simmons says his focus is on spreading getting TOP's message to voters ahead of the next election.

"We've got a couple of years to really get out and explain to people why our policies are going to make a difference."

Newshub Nation.

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