High profile economist Gareth Morgan launching 'The Opportunities Party', says it's a rebellion against the politics of mediocrity & against the inertia of the established parties

High profile economist Gareth Morgan launching 'The Opportunities Party', says it's a rebellion against the politics of mediocrity & against the inertia of the established parties

High profile economist Gareth Morgan is launching a political party.

He's calling it The Opportunities Party, which he details in the letter below, and discusses in the video above.

Dr Gareth Morgan 

I am pleased to announce the formation of a new political party: The Opportunities Party.

I know that as a country we are not fulfilling our potential, that with the right policies we can materially improve fairness, and give many more New Zealanders the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations.

If we do this we will not just be more prosperous, but will improve our overall well-being in terms of  

reduced poverty, 
housing affordability, 
environmental sustainability and making the most from our natural capital, and
national pride. 

I’m reasonably sure there does exist a suite of policy initiatives that will do this. But we have to break from the lethargy that Establishment parties and career politicians have us locked in. Their fear of losing votes makes them champions of inertia and only ever reluctant proponents of incremental change. 

Our programme 

The next few months for us at TOP is all about convincing you the voter that what we propose will produce a substantial improvement in well-being, and that we deserve your support in chivvying the government along – whoever they may be. The changes I’m talking about will benefit us, our children and our grandchildren. But to effect change we need to be in parliament and in sufficient numbers to have undue influence.

Today is Ground Zero for us – this is where we begin. Our first target is to get enough members and to do this we intend to; Release our policy priorities by the end of January, 

Convince New Zealanders that we have a strategy to make New Zealand more prosperous but at the same time make New Zealand fair again. You cannot boost prosperity by protecting privilege. 

Call to Action 

TOP is a rebellion against the politics of mediocrity, against the inertia of the Established parties. I look forward to engaging New Zealand on the topic of how we do better – a lot better. If you want to be part of this, keeping up with what we’re doing, contributing to the discussion, or becoming a member then go to www.top.org.nz and register. 

Finally I have resigned as a trustee of Morgan Foundation to focus on this political campaign. MF will continue the work on the public policy research, environmental projects and projects as it has been since its establishment in 2006.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.



Good on you Gareth. Somebody has to do something because none of the current offerings seem to offer any sensible alternative. When friends and family complain about the current government and I challenge them "well why did you vote them in?" , the reply is always "well what choice is there?"

So, is it to be Gareth Trump or Bernie Morgan? Having said that, I will be giving this a serious look.

Nah PA , you'll no doubt read an article on stuff.co.nz where he apparently said some naughty things at a high school party 40 years ago while drunk and make your mind up from there.

Well if there is anything like "you've been trumped" from 2011, only a few years short of 40 years ago, then you might be on to something, but I very much doubt that Gareth Morgan would get the likes of the KKK backing him. Oh, unless KKK means King Kitten Killer

OMG I might have misunderstood you, do you have some dirt on Bernie Sanders from 40 years ago, all I've seen are photos of him being dragged off by police at a civil rights rally, I might have missed something I suppose.

talk about get on the bandwagon...


I hope you're prepared for the media and no doubt other politicians to focus entirely on the "cat terminator" and ignore all policy, never the less, good on you.

Good call. The rag known as the NZ Herald calling him a 'cat-killer'.

Is it too early to ask which main party will he align himself to after the election. What job will he demand? Will he want Bill's in return for his support for National?

Based on his policies I'd say he plans to have a TOP/Greens alliance.

He'll take the top of the Nat vote ..leaving them desperate for a support partner - a bigger one than Maori.


Good luck Gareth... I respect you for making the effort.... and I think there is a vacumn to be filled... Labour seem to lack meaningful, realistic ideas..... and so does National.

Labour has not managed to go beyond the idea that more taxes and more regulation, more pc, and more Govt. is the answer to our problems..

here is an idea.... for every new regulation... we have to rescind a previous regulation.
another idea..... We have a referendum asking what size Govt should be as a % GDP... 20%...30:...??



Good luck and I hope it works out for you. Be aware that you will be the target of crazy ranting and jabbering from all of the main parties. No doubt our idiot Prime Minister will try to gloss over reality and say everything is fine. It's easier for them to target you because they will make up any old lies rather than behaving like competent persons.

That said questioning their gibberish in the debating chamber is needed.

Opportunistic Party? or a movement? It'll hurt the Nat's more than anything ... the "Blue-Green" camp.
Nat's poll next 42%!
Act GoneBurger!
Maori Party are history. So he may fill a void?
Nat can't govern alone, never has .... Dunnes 740 vote margin in Ohariu is looking vulnerable if Labour Greens do a deal and have a "Cup-of-Tea!"

Good on him! For being strategic! Not wanting to be government but to be a parasite instead?

He has no show of getting in while such a large % of people own a cat


Yes.... but he may be a Cat-alyst for change...!!!

The worst part is that will be one of the more sensible policies.

Could potentially Win the election there are so many upset ex national supporters out there who have woken up to the lies and corruption

Best news Ive heard in a long time. Fantastic.

good on you Gareth time we had someone to vote for as to a protest against the current mobs
one thing I would love to see is some way for the public to vote on parties lists. too many people are in parliament now that should not be there

This will be interesting. Although, recalling some of his opinion pieces here I wonder what his policy detail will consist of. He seems to be a believer in the tax everything model, which will impact on the bottom and middle the most. Still we need someone to shake up the established political elites. Probably just generate more of them.

..and you should tax everythting..so its neutral and doesn't drive behavour. I.e the housing nonsense. So not more tax, just a wider spread.

Disagree. It just puts more money in the hands of politicians who have demonstrated time and time again that they cannot be trusted. Balanced regulation is what is required.

..OMG. How many times. We are not talking more....we are talking wider spread. Please pay attention.

Rastus - I am. GM has advocated home owners living in their own homes pay tax to make up for the rent they are not paying! This for me would be a deal breaker right there. I don't have lot of money to spare, but I do own my own home due to hard work, tight money control and saving all i could. Any move to impose further tax on me would actually threaten my ability to go on owning my own home! More to the point i am getting close to retirement, and really don't need to be forced into the renting market!

it is entirley fair to pay tax on your home. Do you realisee that someone in a rental who has $8,100 of asset will not get accomodation supps....yet a home owner with $100's of k's in equity can? Not a tax I know, but the distortions of not including all assets in wealth and income tests (be it for the payment of tax or receipt of benefit) are massive. You might loose on the house, but you will gain elsehwere - a fair tax spread based on assest will hit the asset rich ...it will benfit you.

We already pay a tax on the house. We don't need any more taxes on it. I really don't see why someone who saved to own their own home should pay an additional tax on it when someone else which may have earned far more chose to spend it instead is fair. Taxing assets after you have taxed the income is double dipping. We already tax the income that assets generate. There is scope to tax the capital gain some assets make but not the asset value.

So you want to penalise someone for not spending the money they've earned? You're convincing me NOT to vote for him. How would i benefit from renting as opposed to owning my own home?

Not spending your money is tax avoidance. You are avoiding GST. GST is supposed to encourage saving. Now they want to tax that too. If you have $115 in your account you should have to pay the government 15% tax and you would have paid $15 if you had spent it. You should also have to pay the government 15% of any rent you pay as if you had spent it on something else you would have had to pay GST. Those savers are robbing us of vital tax money and it should be stopped. To answer your question, you are not benefiting from renting so this is why you should be taxed for owning your own home.

Rubbish, I've already paid tax on it. It is called PAYE here. What you are espousing is a total socialist state.

Exactly why I won't be voting for Gareth Morgan. I'm sure he will have some a few ideas which could work but on the whole he will be a liability.

It is unfair to make people pay tax on the assets that they have. They paid tax on the income that purchased them. If one person spends all their money on overseas holidays and the other saves, why should the person that saved pay again? There is some case for a tax on the capital gains assets make but when it comes to peoples homes it often isn't really a gain. If I sell my house and buy another I haven't really gained as I have transferred from one to another. Taxing people on what they could have done is a very slippery slope. We could tax a medical school lecturer as if they were a highly paid specialist. We could tax unemployed people as if they had jobs. We could tax home owners as if they had invested in the stock market and made millions. We could tax all 'C' students as if they were the president of the united states (thanks GWB)

..put you money in a home and the home grows with inflation. No tax. Put the money in the bank, receive interest to keep up with inflation and you loose maybe a third of that increase. You are going backwards compared to the home owner (and Im ignoring cap gains to keep it simple for some folk).

So why should the home (or asset) owner get a break over a saver who does not invest in such way??

It is hard to take seriously someone who doesn't know the difference between lose and loose.

Gareth Morgan wants to tax you for having a house worth $1m not the gain on the house you get.
If you bought a house for $2m and it halved in value to $1m he wants to tax you a % of your wealth not what you earn. if the wealth tax is 1% then he would take $10k of you that year as a wealth tax. So that year you lose a $1m and you have to pay tax on what you have left. If he was talking about an unrealised capital gains tax then that is different and your point has merit.

That change in capital on matters when it is realised into some physical asset. If the market crashes and my house value halves, can I claim that against my taxes?

No you can't. You will need to pay tax based on the income you could generate based on what someone thinks your house is worth. It may or may not be worth what you have to pay tax on. The only way to find out what your house is worth is to sell it.

I paid for this house out of fully-taxed net income. I then paid for rates and insurance. I look on my house as a means of shelter from the elements, a necessity.
What many such as yourself, in your bitterness and Gareth Morgan in his ideological blindness forget is that a house actually COSTS those (note the singular). It is not a business investment and as noted above, if I sell and buy again, I am not necessarily doing it with profit in mind, just a new house to LIVE IN.
Also the big element of Morgan's flawed theory in my opinion is forgetting the ongoing maintenance required.
There is no such thing as a maintenance free house unless you want it to end up like so many I see all too many of locally. It is on ongoing expense over and above all the other ongoing and increasing costs.
View my house that I bought to shelter me as a business investment, then let me claim every last cent of GST back and the rest off my income.
As I grow older, the income will be diminishing, but his tax would eat up every cent of equity and sweat I continue to put in after the mortgage was paid.
His type makes me sick.

Plus he wants car owners to pay tax because they're not paying taxi fares ... the list goes on!

That's right. GM just wants to screw over a different set of people. Asset rich but cash poor people. Typically these will be old people and he thinks they should have to move out of the communities they have grown up in because the houses are worth more now than they did when they moved in many years ago. These people will have paid higher incomes and just spent it instead of buying a house

If they can't afford to live there then they should move, just like everyone else is expected to.

that is harsh, they have worked all their life to be in a position where they can stay in their house and then someone decided to tax them. Their income was taxed and now you want to tax them on what they have left?

It's pretty hard to have more of the social welfare safety nets you advocate strongly for, without increased taxation..

Not necessarily. Just stop funding, subsidising the private sector $7.5b every year. Super Ann. makes up 50%+ of the $24b welfare budget. That needs asset testing.
Actual UB is only about $6.5b including 7000 staff and capital assets. $873m is on private sector training, $1.6b is Student Loans & Landlord subsidies of $1.6b to $1.8b.

Better spending is needed and the private sector to prove they can't stand on their own feet instead of relying on the taxpayer.

The world is moving on from the old ways things were done, we are very soon going to have to deal with a fairly jobless future. It will be machinery and technology that will have to pay those tax bills to supply the UBI, biggest problem is that a UBI will need to be universal so that manufacturers don't just move to countries that have no such thing.
Of course, the technology and machinery could be owned by the people, eh?

I would say the jobless future is going to be as about as successful as the paperless office. Technology will change the jobs people do but people will still have jobs.

He is going to struggle. I can't see any major party taking up his tax reform ideas. Without some policies which he can get through, he is going to be labelled a sell out. He needs to get some wins he can take back to his voters.

Great stuff. Good on Gareth Morgan for putting himself forward. Hope he does well and has the stomach for all the BS coming his way.

Good on you Gareth. Just what NZ truly needs. Sick of the corruption lies and bull...


Morgan will only make a bigger fool of himself than he has already.
He will get some votes for sure from those who want to throw their rights away but his chances a less than zero
The man's a walking, talking joke with his crack pot political ideas, together with the personality of a demented goldfish -which on second thoughts might well fit in well with the rest of the politicians we have already.
" Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad".

.... hmmmmm .... should we mark you down as an " undecided " voter , then ?

I'd be a bit cautious about taking the piss out of a cat person GB.

today's crack pot is tomorrow's genius

nah, trade me is a crazy idea, will never fly

I don't think anyone ever said that do you? TradeMe is basically NZ's eBay. Look at something that is doing well in the US and replicate here has always been a fairly sound business gamble. It should have been Trade&Exchange's baby but they missed out.

My trade me facetious reference was to BigDaddy's view that Gareth is a 'walking talking joke'.
An untaxed property capital gain sensitive nerve twitching, perhaps.

... that hasn't held true for Kim Dotcom , has it ...

Nor for Colin Craig !

... once a cack pot , always a cack pot ...

Not for all of us. Photos of Colin becomingly reclining in the grass were quite the turn on for me. And the sublime poetry made me a lifelong fan.

Oh don't. Just when I'd successfully repressed that horrible memory.

Nor for Drumpff I'd suspect.

I guess it's all in the definition - compared to those three examples Gareth Morgan is hardly a crackpot.

... yes , so true .... Gareth can hardly be compared to those two , could he ...

I'm sure that right about now the Prime Ministerial nappies will be in the laundry after the Jolly Kid soiled himself , when he learnt of GM's intentions ...

... and not before time that someone came along and said " BOO ! " ... to the comfortably established parliamentarians ...

Happy days ... today , my friends , I am a very happy little Gummster : Thank you , Gareth Morgan !

Right in agreement with ya, GBH. I think that I've finally found someone that I'm happy to give my vote to. Even more so considering JK's condescending comments today: "I don't think GM will go far". About time for a change.

don't forget Graham Capill...mmm fair enough not quite the crack pot category...

The 'politics of mediocrity' seems to be doing pretty well folks as NZ has just been declared the most prosperous country in the world. We are going on more overseas trips and buying more new cars than ever before. Unemployment is super low. Morgan just wants to be a grand social justice warrior and try and right the wrongs of the world at the expense of the middle classes. I don't think he is charismatic enough to get any significant following.

"expense of the middle classes"??
Doesn't seem like a very good/electable political stance, to me..

I don't think of National as the charisma party.

Key and English are going to be a hard act to beat. People have to admit it is not going to be easy.

They can both handle their critical roles well. That and our elections are all about who the next PM will be rather than the party.

Well done. Best news for months. I’m ashamed to admit it, but was considering voting Winnie to get a conversation going about some key issues.
On the cat question, it may not need to be discussed again. What led to the tipping point where people are happy to pick up warm soft dog poo? Has the ‘management’ of feral cats (which has happened for years) been legitimised in enough people’s minds that cat owners are reluctant to let Tibbles out at night? Have we reached a tipping point?

This is excellent news. At long last we will see some genuine intellectual rigour introduced to the political debate. No doubt the media who present their nightly round up of trivia and fatuous journalist opinions as 'news' will cast him as a whacko but hopefully the great unwashed will hear at least an occasional soundbite of genuinely alternative policies that challenge the status quo.

Good to see Gareth took my advice. Walk the walk

Excellent news for the voters of this great land , girt-by-sea ...

... Gareth's new party will give us a wider choice ... I'm sure that a few of us who were forced into the arms of Winston Peters ( because we're fed to the back teeth with the numbskull policies of both the Gnats and the Little Labour Parties ) can now give a single tick to a group who far more closely expouse our economic views ...

I'm sure it will not turn out to be a cat-astrophe ... nyuk nyuk !

Balance of power is all you need.
A split vote leaves a big oppertunity for fringe parties to make a mark.

... I can see TOP taking votes from folks who've suffered the existing parties for enough years ... and that's not just Labour and the Gnats ... I'm sure the Greens and the Winston First Party will see an erosion of their supporter base too ...

Parliament is not meant to be a life long party at our expense ( looking at you , Annette King , and your 30 years at the trough of public expenditure ) ...

... good on Gareth ... he will stir the buggers up 'like no has since Bob Jones gave it a crack back in the 1980's ...

Good News for National Party as will split other party votes if he is able to establish his party.

Also more easy for national party to offer lucrative portfolio/power when short of number but this time they will be too short for any number

Who was it who used to advocate a "Common Sense Political Party" a few years back.

No takers.

None available., with an ounce of "Common Sense".

Nor in any Country, I can think of.

Perhaps that is why the world is in decline. ZIRP, NIRP...TWIRP.

I think Winston Peters used "Common Sense" as a mantra

As long as his plans to tax houses coincide with a plan to tax all net wealth (like his) 50% per annum above a net wealth of say $5,000,000., to get some sort of equality.
That sort of tax would be walking the talk.
And arrest everbody with a net wealth of > $20million and seize their assets as it is quite obvious that nobody can aquire that much money legally or morally/ethically??

Would this stop someone seeking to create 'facebook',or cure cancer ? How is this morally / ethical of the government ?

We never see the jobs that never come to be because of government policy ie. TAXES

So you want to vote for him so his policies put him in prison. Are you saying that creating trade me was illegal or unmoral or unethical? If you want people to take risks then you have to let them get rewards assuming you don't want to pick up the tab for a failure.

So you want to vote for him so his policies put him in prison. Are you saying that creating trade me was illegal or unmoral or unethical? If you want people to take risks then you have to let them get rewards assuming you don't want to pick up the tab for a failure.

If you had lots of debt accross multiple houses after years of binging on tax offset and capital gain double down leveraging up plays, go and read Gareths comments about the property ponzi and its damage to NZ. You will soon be having stress related visit to the toilet...

i think it was inevitable a "to the right of the Green party" enviroment party would spring up .
As Green party leader Shaw , said , it may be more likely to take more votes from "Green" National voters . as from the Green Party.
there ws a right wing "green" party back when the greens were in the alliance , i don't think they made more than a couple of %, in the only election they stood in. might have had some influence in the Greens leaving the Alliance though.

i'm not Morgan's biggest fan, but I suspect i will prefer his policies to those of National and Labour.
Let's wait and see

i'm not Morgan's biggest fan, but I suspect i will prefer his policies to those of National and Labour.
Let's wait and see

Bad start...he ripped off the Red Peak flag design, without consultation.

Did he? Wasn't he instrumental in promoting the design, or even commissioning it?

Post-wiki edit: The logo he's using for the new party isn't red peak, but 'Home Flag', which was winner of a design competition initiated by Morgan. So it's probably being used with full permission of the designer.

Bad start...he ripped off the Red Peak flag design, without consultation.

.... yup !

And , it's not as if that is a terrifically inspiring design , is it ....

.... TOP ought to use the Kiwi with the green laser beam coming out of it's eye , as their ensign ...

That'd garner some attention !

GM should just join NZ First then two Trumps can make NZ Great Again. Hahaha Build a wall between ....

No we have natural borders , but the people in charge think everyone will assimilate . Pity, on the scale that immigration is happening, history says it won't end well ( see Germany or UK )

Add in Chloe Swarbrick and you'll get this party really cranking

Will those who join the Opportunities Party be called Opportunists ?
Just asking....

GM is like a lottery winner...not an interesting person before the win, and certainly not interesting now...I'd even go as far to say has some quite serious personality issues and is a bit Colin Craigish...(in that he has money but nothing intelligent to say)

Let us see what he proposes before we decide.

As far as i can tell there will be two big changes
1) Your house will be taxed (except Maori)
2) Maori will play a much bigger role in government.

So as i see it we will just have another Mafia cartel sharing out the spoils of the country.

We need LESS government NOT more

And does he support the TPP?

In all fairness I gave him a chance and watched his video (slick production) shame about the content and delivery...why does he even get air time? his investments were performing the worst in any kiwisaver platform until he got bought out...the only thing he is good at is using Harvard type language that he gets from reading the latest HBR and then using the Microsoft Word synonym function to upgrade his words a bit.

It's a "low energy" advert. Comes across as an infomercial selling male vitality pills or a real estate sales video. The music is all wrong for the times. Millennials wont go for this. Compare this Trump advert, Listen carefully to the background music - very powerful:


Wow this announcement has really galvanised the property investor/speculator community. I guess the prospect of Morgans alternative taxation policy got their attention. Cant see that level of tax change but could easily lead to a toughening of policy reducing propertys favoured status.