Gareth Morgan happy to fund a TOP successor, but warns the leader would be 'personally liable' if they didn't implement all his policies

Gareth Morgan happy to fund a TOP successor, but warns the leader would be 'personally liable' if they didn't implement all his policies

The Opportunities Party (TOP) might be dead, but founder Gareth Morgan hopes its policy manifesto lives on.

Morgan on Friday tweeted: “Happy to fund any credible successor that puts best practice policy first & foremost, no compromise, no pampering to tax-privileged, owner-occupying property elite or their offspring.

“Only prosperity based on a foundation of fairness endures. Identity politics fans need not apply.”

Yet even in the wake of TOP losing support from its own candidates, largely due to Morgan’s controlling leadership style, he isn’t willing to part with his cash again without getting his way.

Asked by interest.co.nz what criteria anyone who approached him for funding would have to meet, Morgan said: “If any new party wanted funding from me then number one is that the policy offering we constructed is to be adopted and not to be compromised, not to be diluted down by any internal party 'democratic' compromises. That would have to be contractual.”

Morgan went on to say the party’s leadership would be “personally liable to the funder” if it didn’t implement his policies.

“I don’t care how a party runs itself, whether it has five co-leaders, sings Kumbaya every morning, and has kissing the ground each morning a condition of being a member of the cult.

“All I care about is policy…

“TOP is finished. The significant asset on wind- up is the policy manifesto that has taken 10 years of work to construct - it lives on and is available to any party to carry forward including Labour and National.

“From my perspective political compromises of best practice policy is our problem, we end up with parties implementing incoherent, poor quality policy that does at best some good and more often, harm. I’m not interested in being anywhere near one of those exercises.”

Asked who he thought was the best person to lead a party that would adopt his policy manifesto, Morgan said: “I have an open mind with respect to any party approaching me for funding to promote TOP’s policy manifesto, for me it was never about individuals, I would assess the whole package being offered.”

Morgan said that within 24 hours of tweeting about being open to funding a new group, he received six expressions of interest.

“However of course there’s a big gap between enthusiasm and capability, so let’s see if any group with gravitas is out there,” he said.

Interest.co.nz understands TOP had recruited Northland doctor and pro immunisation campaigner, Lance O’Sullivan to launch a revived TOP early next year, yet O’Sullivan walked away from the gig for personal reasons.

Geoff Simmons - one of TOP’s former co-leaders and the brains behind many of its policies - doesn’t at this stage know where to from here.

Meanwhile former TOP candidates, including Jenny Condie and Jessica Hammond, have formed a political action group, Civic, and intend to contest the 2020 election.

Asked how one finds a leader who has a high enough profile to build a following, but who isn't a fan of "identity politics” - especially given Morgan’s straight-up and rude approach formed his identity and got him mainstream media coverage in the lead up to the 2017 election, Morgan came back to his point about policy being front and centre. 

“Other agendas, such as promoting the identity (or sector) politics of socio-economic status, gender, environment, ethnicity, alone wouldn’t qualify.

“The policy set integrates all the issues in a coherent manner (eg; market pricing of pollution) for the benefit of all New Zealanders - and to break the balance because of a prejudice to a particular cohort (such as the millennials for instance) would corrupt the policy offering, its integrity would be lost.”

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Gareth is playing a lead role in the film 'Skyscraper'

Reminds me of some years ago when the McGillicuddy Serious Part pronounced their pride in scoring better in the election than the Natural Law Party, even though the latter included Yogic Flying in their manifesto. MSP went on to admit that even they couldn’t have thought up that one. But seriously this TOP episode, coupled with elements such as the cats, makes you wonder whether the principle identity has become over eccentric. Think I am correct in saying Bob Jones has been alluding to this for quite some time. Not at all the same circumstances as the ill fated Conservative Party obviously, but likewise oblivion beckons.

Remind me what Bob Jones plan was. Was it the 20 story statue of Gareth holding his 10 commandments ? Um - I mean manifesto.
Put a few flowing robes on the Gareth statue and an LED halo and the imagery would be complete.

Location Bastion Point?

Controlling people are fine when they're in control.

Ask Max Key, he might do it?

Love the ego, first to step in and help - as long as it is done exactly his way. Reminds me of the whole beach saga in Nelson.

What he should say is

“All I care about is policy…

that benefits me, myself and I.

Any "empirical" evidence in his policies must surely have been vetted to ensure maximum benefit to him.

In fact I shudder to think if Morgan and "Aunty" Helen joined forces. Could you even imagine the micro managing?

I joined the TOP party for about 6 weeks as I was willing to try a different tax and economic approach from the same old. I resigned once I found out his Maori policy.

" , , , no pampering to tax-privileged, owner-occupying property elite or their offspring."
Whoa!
Who is the person who made most of his (as with his son) many millions from a tax-privileged position in not having to pay capital gains on sale of Trade Me?

Sadly Gareth really seems to have lost the plot regarding democracy. Democracy is about a shared consensus vision. His position seems to put him well to extreme right of past notable dictators such as Stalin. In comparing him to Stalin, the only only difference is that power will be maintained on economic threat rather than physical threat; no different - both are just bully tactics.

"Democracy is about a shared consensus vision" - only if each of us gets to vote on each and every piece of legislation/issue (direct democracy).
What we have now is elected representation - this does not guarantee a shared consensus view.

Well it you think that shared consensus is lacking now. It will be absolutely non-existent under Gareth.

Hang on. "I'll give your political party a big donation provided you do precisely as I say" There is a name for that is't there? Perhaps he has his tongue in his check?

I initially hoped that is what it was. However, this and previous comments suggest that he has become egocentric and bitter.

I used to have a lot of respect for Gareth especially in the early 1980's when he set up Infrometrics. While outspoken and challenging, his views were quite sound and constructive.
He seems to think that he is now the elder statesman figure and is getting joy of being provocative. However, sadly there is a self-centred aspect there - especially those that imply what was good for me is not good for others.
Whether or not these and recent comments are intended as tongue in cheek or not, he is coming across as a bitter and twisted old man - and that is not tounge in cheek.

The 5% threshold favors the incumbant parties, stifles innovation and the growth of small parties and is an affront to true democracy.
It should be done away with.

TOP would have had 2 or 3 seat is parliament and their ability or not to influence NZ public opinion further could have been tested at the next election.

It's a catch 22 for TOP or its successor. To get over 5% they probably need a "charismatic politician".
They would be far better at this stage seeking to get rid of the 5% threshold.

Only problem is that the incum-BENTs are the only ones that can change it..

There have been several studies commissioned by govt that have recommended changing the threshold, but for some reason the turkeys decided not to vote for an early Xmas. Weird huh?

So new leader must be a cat hater?

Michael Cullen once called Key a 'rich prick'. Now he's vanished with his knighthood,GM is filling the spot nicely.

I guess we can look forward to the launch of "The Brownnose Party " then .