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Keep Calm & Support TOP

Keep Calm & Support TOP

Firstly, in response to a small group of former Opportunities Party (TOP) candidates that have made personal grievances public. This has been disappointing for all our members still very committed to our party’s future. On behalf of TOP I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public why this party was formed.

That is, the evidenced based policy our party presented to the nation, policy that has been developed for one reason only; “Prosperity built on a foundation of fairness”. Through this uncompromising and unwavering commitment to care about our future, under the leadership of Gareth Morgan 60,000 voters (2.4%) felt compelled to support this cause, making TOP the fifth largest political party in New Zealand, all within 10 months – a success in my opinion by any definition.

The score card for our country at present is abysmal;

14% of children in material hardship

Second highest rate of bullying in the OECD

Highest and second highest rate of teen and youth suicide

Worst levels of family violence and homelessness in the developed world

Kiwi children amongst the highest rates of obesity in the world

One in every three NZ bird species face extinction

Productivity in decline since March 2011

Declining drinking and river water quality

We must, and can only address these appalling statistics through policy change, addressing the fundamental causes of these problems. This is why TOP and Gareth has overwhelming support from within the party and growing membership to continue to challenge the public to address these issues.

The recent announcement made by Gareth, stating clearly that TOP will be contesting the 2020 election, and his decision to move from party leader to party chairperson in 2018 has further unified TOP and signals a positive and exciting future as we build momentum towards the next election. TOP has overwhelming support from my colleagues and its membership to continue to build on a great foundation and challenge New Zealanders to ‘Care and Think’ about how we can achieve a prosperous and fair society.

On a personal note I wish everyone a peaceful, safe and relaxing Christmas with family and friends, and I will return next year with a renewed commitment to grow our party.

Olly Wilson
The Opportunities Party (TOP) spokesperson

* * *

The Opportunities Party is changing New Zealand’s political landscape. The full impact of that change is yet to be seen. It’s no mean feat starting a political party that takes a bold and uncompromising approach to change, is prepared to raise issues and have honest conversations about what is happening, and offers real solutions to address the serious issues that are facing us. These issues include housing that is beyond the reach of many New Zealanders, the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, erosion of democracy, degradation of our environment, and the stigmatisation of the poor and the unemployed.

I came into this organisation to contribute my experience, skills, social connections, and time and energy to help solve these issues we face. I had to find a way to be effective straight away, and act quickly. It was a steep learning curve, but I had the sense that I had a supportive organisation behind me, that as long as I was putting the policies out there, I had the backing of TOP. This set up a virtuous cycle that was empowering to me as a candidate, and, with a campaign of just a few weeks, we were able to secure a solid show of voter support in Rongatai – both for me as a candidate, and for TOP. I went in hard – I read campaign speeches in rhyme, I jumped on stage and waved my arms. I was myself.

If we are going to get this job done, we need to come to it as we are, with our foibles, our current state of awareness, and our world views. If you want to join our efforts we welcome you, whoever you are and whatever your background. The Opportunities Party is for us all.

Paddy Plunket


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