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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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Gareth Morgan’s Tauranga roadshow

Posted at 3:26pm Thursday 20 Apr, 2017 | By Ryan Wood

Maori own the water, all wealth needs to be taxed, and if you’re rich, expect your superannuation to be cut.

Those were some of the policies on offer at this afternoon’s public meeting for The Opportunities Party.

Party leader Gareth Morgan spoke for about 45 minutes in the Graham Young Youth Theatre at Tauranga Boys’ College, which was filled to about a third of capacity with curious locals of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.

“I’m not actually interested in politics at all,” he says. “I’m about policy, and improving the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.”

He talks about his 35-year history involved in economics and social policy, before referring to the country’s growing inequality and the ‘ridiculous acceleration’ in housing unaffordability.

Then it’s onto taxes.

“A third of the richest New Zealanders aren’t even in the top tax rate,” he says, before revealing his plans to tax all capital – although he stresses new taxes would be offset by other tax reductions, with overall tax not increasing by so much as a dollar.

“I don’t want you to walk out of here and slit your wrists,” he jokes.

And it is a joke – about how seriously New Zealanders take their property investment ambitions. But that would change under a Gareth Morgan government. He wants people investing in businesses instead, to create jobs.

One thing he does have on his side is sincerity. He speaks without notes or a teleprompter, leading one to assume he means every word. He’s also incredibly relaxed, leaning on the side of the lectern, rather than standing behind it – and in a t-shirt, no less.

The audience.

On foreigners: he wants the rich ones (the ones he claims visit and buy our farms as casually as they do souvenirs) taxed at a yearly rate of three per cent on their New Zealand properties. He also wants the number of poorer migrants – who come here to do unskilled labour and keep wages down – to be reined in.

And superannuation?

“I don’t need a cent of super. It’s disgusting,” he says. He wants the richest half of superannuates to receive half of what they’re getting now, and shift the $3 billion in savings to parents with young children, many of whom are struggling with rising rents and an uncertain job market.

After saying his piece, he hands it over to the audience. A couple of them ask further questions about tax and inequality, but others want to know about his party’s stance on the environment – especially water.

Gareth says he wants our rivers to be swimmable, and he wants everyone to have access to fresh drinking water. But he reckons Maori own it, by virtue of the Treaty, and that a deal needs to be done with them first, before we can start selling it.

So there’s a lot for a Tauranga audience to think about. Throughout his presentation, he takes a few pot shots at Winston Peters, and labels the National party habit of announcing policies that won’t come into effect for decades (such as raising the superannuation age) a ‘con job’.

Out in the theatre foyer he says audiences can be ‘sceptical’, but he hopes he can make them think – and hopefully, impress them.

“You want them to think they’ve just seen Jesus,” he says.

Only time will tell if he can have as much of an impact.

If you’ve got a question for Gareth, or want to hear him in his own words, head along to the Graham Young Youth Theatre at 5.30pm tonight, when he’ll be going in for round two.



Posted on 21-04-2017 09:56 | By Papamoaner

I too don’t like the "Jesus" analogy any more than I liked Mr Morgan earlier referring to himself as equivalent to Trump. As to his personal gain, if you mean money, he doesn’t really need it. All I am saying is he is making us think. I wouldn’t vote for Winston either, but he does make us think sometimes. The concept of taxing investment assets flat across the board does appeal to me if it levels all those greedy fat cats. As fat cats go, at least he’s active in the community doing stuff.
By groutby

Posted on 21-04-2017 09:48 | By waiknot

You appear to resent that he’s worth a few dollars and as such not to be trusted. You need to get rid of that chip. Say what you want he’s passionate.

Posted on 20-04-2017 19:27 | By Papamoaner

Before you say too much, it might pay to take a squiz at stress I am not a supporter, but fairness and balance in comment is not a bad thing. Best to keep our comments objective eh.

Posted on 20-04-2017 19:10 | By Papamoaner

My comments were more about what was said rather than who said it. I’m not sure wealth or lack of it has much to do with the price of fish in this context. As to investment, I took it that he meant manufacturing business as opposed to financial business. But I acknowledge people have differing views. It’s positive that he’s evidently got us all thinking. That’s a start at least. In NZ, The late sir Angus Tait started as a bankrupt after manufacturing radio telephone equipment and crashing, , then went on to create a respected empire and become a millionaire. A lot of people who invested with Tait did very well. As to financial investment, we all know about Lombard. Mr Morgan seems to be advocating that all those assets ought to be taxed without bypass. That sounds good!

Posted on 20-04-2017 18:34 | By overit

Maori’s do not own the water, sorry bud you wont get my vote just because of this opinion.
Yeah right Garath

Posted on 20-04-2017 18:24 | By NZer

Try telling those investors who invested in financial business that collapsed taking their life savings, that they should invest in business..

Posted on 20-04-2017 18:15 | By groutby

Do you really think if he wasn’t filthy rich he would be saying this?....nah just another hypoctrite needing attention, do agree with ensuring wealthy pay appropriate tax, apart from that he’s still the twit I thought he was..not on my voting list...he WOULD catch my attention if he donated his wealth tho...but that simply ain’t goin’ to happen is it.
Well !

Posted on 20-04-2017 17:10 | By Papamoaner

I’m not a supporter of any political party, but he does make us think. More than any other politician thus far. A man who speaks without notes or aids gets anyone’s attention and deserves to.

Posted on 20-04-2017 16:47 | By CC8

It’s his hidden agenda that needs to be viewed, "what is in it for him" is the question we all need to ask. Is he a madman bent on revenge, for some perceived slight? He has proved in the past that he does nothing unless it is to his personal gain and "fame".Look at the sculpture saga a year or so back. DON’T BE SUCKERED .

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