Gareth Morgan and his party to contest Mt Albert by-election?
Opportunities Party founder Gareth Morgan will make an announcement outside the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall at 11am on Wednesday – just an hour before nominations for the by-election officially close.
It’s expected he will announce he is standing in the race, or he’s recruited someone who will. …
— Grant Robertson (@grantrobertson1) January 31, 2017
From NZ Herald,
Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party has announced it will contest the Mt Albert by-election – but the party founder will not run.
Instead, the newly formed party has put forward its chief of staff Geoff Simmons to contest the seat. Simmons is an economist who has worked for the Morgan Foundation.
Announcing the candidate this morning outside the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall, Morgan said Simmons would be the “thorn between two roses” – a reference to Labour MP Jacinda Ardern and Green MP Julie Anne Genter, who are also running.
Simmons said the issues he would campaign on in Mt Albert included infrastructure “creaking under the strain of rapid population growth”, the increasing gap between the rich and poor, and spiralling house prices and rents.
“The only people of my age who I know have been able to purchase a house in Auckland have done so through their parents.”
Simmons lives in Wellington, but said he had grown up in Auckland and his family still lived in the Mt Albert electorate.
“I come back often, and would love the opportunity to live once again in the City of Sails.”
However, he would not commit to returning whether he won or lost, saying it would “depend very much” on the by-election result.
Simmons acknowledged victory would be a tough ask, but said the political events of 2016 – along with the Black Caps’ nail-biting win over Australia at Eden Park – showed there was “no such thing as a foregone conclusion”.
“Everything is up for grabs, there’s no such thing as a safe seat anymore.”