Gareth Morgan has advice for the electorate: Use your two votes wisely and don’t let Winston Peters “anywhere near government.”
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Mr Morgan outlined his “Stop Peters” strategy, 10 days out from the election.
The core of the idea is that of the 13 electorates in which The Opportunities Party (TOP) is standing a candidate, the competing Labour and National candidates are guaranteed to enter Parliament.
“Here’s a set of facts for rational voters who support Labour or National with a party vote: The second competition in this election is the one in which the minor parties can have an influence on the government of the day.
“What we’re saying is that people who vote for Labour and National can get huge use out of their electorate vote, in a way perhaps you hadn’t thought of.
“What sort of influence do you want on the next government? Do you want a regressive, old-fashioned conservative influence of Winston Peters? Or do you want a progressive influence from TOP? That is the choice,” he says.
Mr Morgan says NZ First leader Winston Peters politics are of “the worst kind.”
“The most offensive to me is his self-centeredness. It’s all about Winston and never about New Zealand as a group … He’s racist, xenophobic and homophobic and appeals to the worst side of our human nature.
“I don’t want him anywhere near Parliament and any self-respecting New Zealander shouldn’t either. That’s what the Stop Peters campaign is about. Do you want progress or don’t you?”
NZ First’s budget proposals also were targeted by Mr Morgan at the press conference.
“If [Mr] Peters, by some miracle, happened to be in the government, his pledges are running a deficit of something like $14 billion per year, plus $18 billion on one-off costs.
“Barely any questions come from the media about where Peters' funding is coming from. And of course, he won’t face me in any debate because he knows I’ll shred him on that stuff. He’s a pork-barreler. That’s the type of politician he is. He deserves to be called out on that.”
Mr Morgan still expects his party to secure 5-10% in the coming election.
“The town hall gigs every night are full of enthusiasm and positivity. The age of the attendees has been dropping markedly. We’re getting fewer silvertops and a lot more youth. They hadn’t been to an event before and found out about it through viral social networking,” he says.
“So we’re pretty positive that we’re reaching the people who have the most at stake from the direction of the government,” he says.
“I don’t want to be a politician. There’s nothing I can learn from them. I’m not looking for a job, I’m trying to move policy forward.”
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