Money-free activist eyes national party
Nelson mayoral candidate and moneyless economy advocate Richard Osmaston is petitioning to form a new political party in New Zealand and plans to stand for election in this year's general election.
Mr Osmaston has started a campaign to gain the 500 signatures needed to form the New Zealand chapter of the Money Free Party which is burgeoning in the United Kingdom, Brazil, the United States, Canada and Australia.
The party's slogan is "sharing and promoting the values and ideals of a sustainable, money free society into the communities and beyond. Thinking global acting local".
Mr Osmaston, a St Arnaud farmer, campaigned in last year's local government election on a platform of change to a resource-based economy. His campaign for the mayoralty attracted 350 votes.
The British-born former commercial airline pilot and aircraft engineer previously said he believed in the need for such a revolution because humanity was looking at major social breakdown.
He is confident of achieving the 500 signatures needed from eligible voters nationwide to form the new party, based on support he got from Nelson electors.
"I'm preparing the application to register the new political party. At the moment it's myself and some other people who are helping to form the Money Free Party - people in Nelson, Timaru, Auckland and Wellington."
He declined to name those involved until plans had progressed to a more official level.
"It's early days yet, but the material remains the same. The only thing that's changed is the urgency needed to bring this to fruition."
Mr Osmaston said because of the election cycles of the other countries, New Zealand could become the first country to have the Money Free Party contest a general election.
If the party was formed, the campaign would be supported in part by the Florida-founded Venus Project which Mr Osmaston has been aligned with for some time, and which promotes a global resource-based economy. Mr Osmaston said the support would not be monetary but through advice and direction.
"They're not going to send cash but they're very experienced and connected in the area of crowd funding, but the sort of money we're talking is ‘loose change'.
Mr Osmaston said it would be a "grassroots campaign". The party's constitution allowed it to have as many candidates as it could support, but at this stage there was no idea how many might emerge.
He said previously that while his views might not be immediately popular or easy to grasp, he believed that most people sensed that change was needed in an era of societal breakdown, stress and environmental degradation.
He believed New Zealand, and Nelson in particular were the right places to support such change.
"Nelson is a vibrant, effervescent community.
"Most people choose to live here, which is higher than the proportion of people who choose to live in other cities like London or Auckland - people want to live here which makes it an extremely unusual place, and perfect for a different sort of radical, revolutionary change.
"I guess you could say it's full of educated, empathetic, connected ‘wackos'."
Mr Osmaston said they were treading new ground, but likened the process to learning to play a musical instrument.
"We're bound to hit some bum notes in the beginning. The big thing is getting those 500 signatures."
- The Nelson Mail
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