Kiwis split on Gareth Morgan's tilt at Parliament

Outspoken businessman and philanthropist Gareth Morgan is already drawing a mixed reaction from Kiwis, hours after he launched his new political party.

The 63-year-old launched the Opportunities Party today, with the move already attracting attention and controversy. Source: 1 NEWS

The 63-year-old launched The Opportunities Party at Parliament, saying, "It's nearly Guy Fawkes so I'm here to sort of light a fuse under this place."

The party will target issues like poverty, housing affordability and the environment. 

"What I want to see us do is nudge, push, shove the establishment parties, whoever the government is, to making a real difference on the prospects for New Zealanders," Mr Morgan said. 

He has a reputation for being outspoken, particularly on his controversial anti-cat campaign. 

In his home town of Wellington, reaction to his foray into politics was mixed.

"If it's going to be anything to do with his policy on cats, God forbid he's got anything to do with Treasury," said one woman.

But another said: "I like the man, I like his views, I like what he's got to say." 

The party will be list only, its leader saying he would be happy to work with either National or Labour. 

His tilt at the Beehive quickly drew comparison to fellow rich lister Kim Dotcom's attempt to get into politics last election.

"He isn't tainted in the same way that Kim Dotcom was. Yes he's well off. So was Colin Craig. So was Bob Jones," said Jennifer Curtain, political scientist.

Mr Morgan said: "Kim Dotcom? I can think of something better - how about Trump?" 

The leader is already facing criticism over the choice of the new party's logo and its similarities to the red peak flag, the designers quick to distance themselves, saying they weren't consulted. 

The Opportunities Party's specific policies won't be announced until next month, but just hours after it launched it already had over 200 people registering themselves as members.