The Opportunities Party (TOP) has appointed two-term Christchurch City Councillor Raf Manji as its new leader, replacing Shai Navot who was in the role after the 2020 election.
In a written statement announcing his appointment today, Manji said his immediate goal was to get TOP into Parliament to forge a new social contract.
He said New Zealand needed to work quickly to become a more equitable place to live, "or we are all absolutely stuffed".
"I look at National and Labour and see them as two sides of the same coin," he said. "They represent the status quo and their dominance is holding us back. It's time for a new voice at the table and a more collaborative approach to solving problems and producing policy that works."
"We need to build a sustainable economy that serves all of us and move away from this relentless focus on housing and its monthly price movements.
"To do that, we need to forge a new social contract."
Born in London, Manji has a background in finance, policy and risk, and moved to New Zealand in 2002. He served as a Christchurch City Councillor from 2013, then stood unsuccessfully as an independent candidate in the Ilam electorate won by incumbent Gerry Brownlee in the 2017 general election.
In 2019, Manji acted as an independent advisor to the Christchurch Foundation after the 15 March terror attack, helping raise and distribute funds for the victims.
Outgoing TOP interim leader Navot said the time was right to hand the leadership over to Manji.
"He's got a real vision for the Party and for the future of New Zealand," she said.
TOP, originally founded by philanthropist Gareth Morgan, campaigned in the 2020 election under then-leader Geoff Simmons primarily on a $250 universal basic income policy, receiving 1.5 percent of the vote, after getting 2.4 percent in 2017 under Morgan.