Morgan speaks at Tauranga school

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By Sandra Conchie

The Opportunities Party (TOP) leader Gareth Morgan was in Tauranga yesterday as part of his nationwide road tour to drum up more support.

Speaking at the Tauranga Boys' College auditorium to an audience of about 90 people, Mr Morgan outlined some of the party's seven key policies, which he said were all aimed at ensuring all New Zealanders "got a fair go".

"We want every New Zealand to have the same opportunity to succeed so they can reach their full potential. It's really these seven key areas of policy which are the priorities for us, and I'm convinced they will help to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

"I am not interested in being involved in party politics, nor being a politician for that matter, for me it's all about ensuring we implement these policies as soon as we can."

Mr Morgan said that included introducing "a fairer tax system", a "smarter immigration system" and helping "struggling families" and the most vulnerable with greater support.

"There is too many people in the top income bracket who are exploiting the very large loophole in our tax scheme. One third of the richest people in this country are not even on the top tax rate. We intend fixing that," he said.

Mr Morgan said TOP's tax reform policies also included fixing the "major source of inequality" by ensuring all assets were taxed and people paid their fair share.

TOP would also collect more tax from foreign firms doing business in New Zealand, and from foreigners buying our land, many who see our country as an unbelievably rich tax haven."

Tackling the country's "very stubborn" poverty rates, fixing our housing shortage, including ensuring tenants had a fairer deal, and fully honouring the country's Treaty of Waitangi obligations were top priorities.

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Mr Morgan said next year he and his wife would qualify for National Super, and they would get about $40,000 in the hand.

"I don't need one cent of that money. It's crazy when we have so many people out there who struggle to put food on their table."

Mr Morgan also took questions from the audience, including from first-time voter

Sophie Napier who asked about greenhouse gases.

First-time voter Sophie Napier, 18, was in the audience at Tauranga Boys College auditorium yesterday. Photo/Andrew Warner.
First-time voter Sophie Napier, 18, was in the audience at Tauranga Boys College auditorium yesterday. Photo/Andrew Warner.

The 18-year-old said while she did not fully understand all the policies outlined by Mr Morgan she was interested in hearing more what his party had to offer.

"I'm particularly interested in climate change and how the Opportunities Party intends reducing the amount of green house gases," she said.

Local businessman Mikhail Fisher, 27, said he had admired Mr Morgan for his business achievements.

"As a fellow economist, and someone who is also involved in the technology industry, I really admire Gareth and his son Sam for their business successes.

"While I never really saw Gareth as a politician, and came along being a bit sceptical, after hearing him speak today I very much look forward to hearing more about TOP's policies.

"I would love to see Gareth go up against Prime Minister Bill English and Winston Peters in a political debate, " he said.

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