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Gareth Morgan registers political party

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/01/2017

<span style="font-size:13px;">Gareth Morgan has moved up registration of The Opportunities Party preparing for the possibility of an early election.</span> © Getty Images Gareth Morgan has moved up registration of The Opportunities Party preparing for the possibility of an early election. Millionaire economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan has moved up registration of his political party citing the prospect of an early election.

The Opportunities Party wasn't expected to be registered until March, after seven policy priorities were announced.

But Mr Morgan revealed on Tuesday that he wouldn't wait that long.

"With John Key resigning and Labour seeming to be calling by-elections at will, there is a possibility that National will get sick of that tactic and just go early," he said.

"We have to be prepared for that eventuality."

Mr English is yet to announce an election date but has indicated it is likely to be in the second half of this year.

In the meantime a by-election will be held in the Auckland Mount Albert electorate after Labour MP David Shearer vacated his seat to lead a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

Mr Morgan said he has recruited more than 2000 financial members since announcing his intentions in November, more than the 500 required by the Electoral Office.

He has pledged to refund membership fees if, once all seven policy priorities re released, New Zealanders do not vote for the party.

So far Mr Morgan has released two policies, on tax and immigration.

The tax policy proposes deeming a minimum rate of return on all productive assets including houses, while the immigration plan seeks to "focus on skilled people who are looking for a more liberal and tolerant society".

Mr Morgan said while he personally doesn't want to enter parliament he has been approached by "some pretty outstanding candidates" wishing to stand in electorates.

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