The political.nz project

Politics is a dirty word, but what if we could change that?

political.nz is a project to re-invent the political party and the way we do politics.

political.nz is building a new kind of political party which operates within the existing political landscape alongside traditional parties.

political.nz transcends left/right ideology and aims to bring together people with different views to find common ground and collectively build policy.

Unlike traditional parties which seek power to promote the agenda of the party elite, political.nz exists purely to empower everyday people with a real voice in shaping the direction of our amazing country. To achieve this, we’re developing the processes and technology to make participating in politics, easy, accessible, and meaningful. The infographic below shows some of our early thinking as to how this could work.

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Maybe you’re fed up with politics, maybe you’ve never been interested in politics, but if you care about New Zealand’s direction and the enormous challenges we face, political.nz is your opportunity to play an important role in a ground-breaking project which could transform the way we do politics in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Learn the why, what, and how of political.nz below.

Why?

Attempting to navigate the issues we face using our existing political vehicles (parties) is like trying to fly a clapped-out biplane over Mt. Everest – there’s no telling where or how you’ll land.

As a country, our future holds extraordinary challenges and opportunities – climate change, the environment, water, artificial intelligence, housing, inequality, free speech, mass surveillance, and more.

As a self-governing community, politics is the way we grapple with these issues and opportunities and direct our country to greater flourishing. The problem is, the way we do politics is broken.

It’s worked ok for the last 100+ years but it’s no longer fit-for-purpose. The issues have become far too complex and the pace of change too great to be managed through our traditional parties, which are pre-occupied with getting power.

As a country we are becoming increasingly divided and this is making our politics even harder, but if a very large group of everyday New Zealanders applied their hearts and minds to a more collaborative kind of politics, we could transform the political landscape. We might even get the traditional parties to question the value they bring to New Zealanders and up their game.

political.nz is a project to build the framework and systems to enable this kind of collaborative politics at massive scale. But not just as another thinktank or lobby group, as an actual political party which gets a seat at the table then re-distributes all its political influence to the membership.

A storm is coming and our democracy is in for lashing. As it stands, it might not hold up. But we can build something better.

What?

There’s no blueprint for what political.nz is doing. What we’re attempting has never been done before so the project is a journey of exploration and innovation. What we do have is a vision and a set of principles to guide us in this journey. Expand the sections below to learn more.

Where traditional parties concentrate power in their core team and focus on how they can get votes from the public, the political.nz core team has a singular focus on empowering its members to build and own the party policy. The membership has the final say on whether a policy is adopted.

Where traditional parties are formed around a specific cause or ideology – left vs. right, conservative vs. progressive, political.nz seeks to create a super-ideology of collaboration in which people from a wide range of viewpoints come together intent on listening to each other and finding common ground.

Where traditional parties rely on votes from the wider public without involving us in the decision-making process, political.nz relies on votes from the membership. This means that we need a membership of 200,000 people, who all have easy and equal access to participate in the process at a level that suits them. When we say participation at massive scale, we mean it.

Where MPs in traditional parties are required to campaign for votes, political.nz MPs work for the membership. They don’t need to spin a narrative or make wild promises. Their job is purely to represent and negotiate policy in Parliament on behalf of political.nz members.

In traditional parties, funding comes from a range of sources including big business donors and wealthy individuals. Money can have or be seen to have an influence on policy. Spending is not transparent. political.nz only allows micro-donations from individual members. A monthly cap on donations ensures one member can’t donate disproportionally more than another. All money in and out is completely transparent and published online for members and the public to see.

This is where all the heavy lifting comes in. There is a huge amount of work to define these processes and build the online platform to support them.

What we do know is that this is not a crude referendum style process. Rather, we need to clearly present an issue from multiple (sometimes opposing) viewpoints and ask our membership to genuinely think about what’s best for New Zealand.

The following policy flow shows how the policy development process might work using an online participation platform.
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How?

Getting political.nz off the ground will happen in stages. The stages are measured by the TallyUp™. The TallyUp is the heartbeat of political.nz. The TallyUp is the way members check-in each month to confirm support for the project. We think of it as a micro-donation of will-power.

On the last day of each month, we send an email notification of the TallyUp count for that month. Participants simply hit ‘reply’ then ‘send’ to confirm support and to be counted in the next TallyUp and so on.

You can see the current TallyUp live at the top of this page. You can make that number go up by joining the TallyUp.

As support for the project grows so too will interest and connections, providing a greater collective resource pool. This allows us to boot-strap the project without a huge organisation and big donors. With that said there is still a huge amount of work to even reach the first stage.

Expand the following sections to learn about the proposed stages. These still need to be revised and stages beyond Vision are a rough guess at the moment.

In this stage we’ll bring together a core team to develop and communicate the vision with the main aim of growing the TallyUp.

  • Stage 1 will run until the TallyUp reaches 25,000.
  • No donations are accepted during this stage.
  • Digital participation will be limited to the TallyUp.
  • Begin work on constitution.
  • Revised start-up plan.
  • Publicity and recruiting.

This is an opportunity to bring your skills, ideas, and experience to a project capable of transforming the way we do politics in Aotearoa New Zealand. That’s the mission we’re on, and we’d love for you to join us.

We are actively recruiting volunteers for this stage.

While we do need some specific skillsets such as communications, design, and web development, we also need anyone who is willing to help get the idea out there and grow the TallyUp.

Get in contact here

Once the TallyUp reaches 25,000 we can be pretty confident we’ve got something that will fly.

In this stage we will create a basic donations platform where members can contribute monthly micro-donations which will be capped at $TBC.

Donations will be used to start establishing basic systems and processes etc.

The Start-up stage runs until the TallyUp reaches 50,000.

This is where the heavy work begins. In the Build stage we’ll create a digital democracy platform and policy framework.

Members will be verified for secure online participation and voting.

The Build stage runs until the TallyUp reaches 150,000 and the platforms are ready.

In Quorum stage we launch our digital democracy platform and members start actively participating.

The Quorum stage runs until the TallyUp reaches 150,000.

With the support of 200,000 New Zealanders political.nz will register as an official New Zealand political party. We aim to make history by being the first modern party to enter parliament on our first run.

 

Get in contact

[email protected]