TEA Party Leader John Hong (File Photo)
While most political parties of the right and left wings are allergic to each other, there is at least one entity which says that it will work with any Party that forms the next government.
The newly formed Taxpayers and Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA) Party is open in its approach, saying that politicians should work together for economic progress and social wellbeing.
Good governance matters
Party Leader John Hong said that after the election, what matters is good governance.
“TEA Party has a new way with the government of the day. We must put politics aside and work together. Such an approach is imperative today for economic recovery. Like the rest of the world, New Zealand has suffered a lot afflicted by Covid-19. What matters next is to revive economic growth and create jobs for people,” he said.
Formed less than three months ago, TEA Party is small (about 1000 members) but with a vision that sees the larger picture of the country.
“Almost 90% of our members are entrepreneurs and they understand business, employment and what it takes to create a stronger economy. However, the government must implement business-friendly policies and provide appropriate incentives. If we are given an opportunity, we will work with the new government and create new avenues for progress,” Mr Hong said.
The Party is fielding 12 candidates in the ensuing election, two of who are of Indian origin- Vishal Choksi contesting in Mt Roskill and Smita Patel in New Lynn.
Mr Hong is contesting from Takanini, a new electorate in which the two major Parties- Labour and National- are putting up a stiff fight. Although the Indian community accounts for a third of the electorate, with the rest made up by people of European, Pacifica and Maori origin, the outcome of the election is anyone’s guess today.
Mr Hong has no illusions that his Party will make a major dent to other Parties in Election 2020 but is prepared to try, wait and grow.
“We are campaigning hard. We can notice the penchant for change among people. We are hopeful of achieving some success, but we will not be disheartened by the outcome. We will work to make our Party strong over the next three years and emerge as a formidable force in Election 2023. We are also keen to enter the next local government elections in Auckland,” he said.
The Party will work as a guardian against racism and any form of discrimination.
“We will fight against any attempt to use racism and fear to gain political power and we will seek to replace racist politicians with fair-minded members of the community,” he said.
TEA Party supports (a) use of medicinal drugs but opposes all forms of drug abuse and drugs for recreational purposes (b) quality migration including family reunion subject to eligible criteria (c) efforts to lift people out of poverty and reduce the number of people on the dole or benefit (d) tax rebates and tax incentives to middle-class working and self-employed taxpayers (e) growth of sustainable economic development and international trade (f) more funding to education and health and (g) an environment and society without fear for safety and abuse, protecting the rights of victims.
About Vishal Choksi
Vishal Choksi is the Chief Operating Officer of Freedom Tourism Limited, a tourism company that is keen to promote New Zealand as a popular destination.
As a tourist operator, he understands hospitality and the art of communication with people. His extensive experience gained working with various communities encourages him to seek a career in politics as a Member of Parliament.
On his Facebook Page, Mr Choksi said that the election campaign belongs to all New Zealanders and that he and his Party are dedicated to common people.
“It is a great feeling to be a parliamentary candidate in Mt Roskill- where I used to be a Pizza delivery boy at the start of my career. I look forward to the opportunity of representing the people of the electorate in Parliament,” he said.
In its bid to represent New Zealanders of all ethnicities at all places, the Party has established four offices in Auckland (Central City, North Shore, West Auckland, East Auckland, South Auckland, North Island), Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, Tauranga and three offices in South Island (Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown).
“We are socially democratic, culturally diversified and fiscally conservative,” Mr Hong said.