As part of the Unshackled’s coverage of New Zealand’s general election campaign we are speaking with a number candidates and activists so we can gain an understanding of the politics of New Zealand, what are the big issues in this campaign and probably most relevantly what Australians can learn from this election.
In New Zealand’s mixed member proportionate system there are a number of minor parties vying for that 5% of the vote that will get them seats in the parliament. Once such party is The Opportunities Party (TOP) founded in November 2016 by New Zealand businessman Gareth Morgan. It claims it is above the left right divide with policies based on evidence. Whilst we don’t agree with many of their policies they are certainly a wildcard in this election so we sat down with their Deputy Leader Geoff Simmons at their campaign HQ.
We learn about how TOP philosophically define themselves. We seek to have them explain how they can be pro-business yet still propose massive government interventions in areas such as health, education and welfare. They also want a radical shakeup of New Zealand’s constitution arrangement for which we find out their justification.
We question their renewable energy policy of entirely eliminating fossil fuels by 2050 given that Australia is facing an energy crises because of a similar policy. We also learn about their criminal justice policy as New Zealand has the second highest incarceration rate in the western world. We also inquire about why they attack New Zealand First in much of the media and why they reject populism.