Anton Oliver, described as “the thinking man’s rugby player” has declared his support for keeping MMP as New Zealand’s voting system.
Oliver, who wore the All Black jersey for much of the decade between 1995 and 2007 and was All Black captain in 2001, is passionate about standing up for New Zealand and putting his weight behind what he believes is best for his country.
For Oliver, the clincher for keeping MMP is that, more than any other voting system, MMP most closely reflects what it means to be a New Zealander.
“ To me being a Kiwi means to be fair, equal, collaborative, honest, transparent, robust, and hardworking. MMP, more than any other system, aspires to be all of the above.
“ A vote to keep MMP means a vote to keep Kiwi values and a Kiwi way of life.
“ Under MMP, when the votes are tallied up, what you vote for is represented on an equal platform alongside your neighbour’s opinions, or your boss’s or the Prime Minister’s.
“ This level of equality is as central to being a New Zealander as watching the All Blacks do the haka or spending a day at the beach.”
Oliver is happy with the performance of MMP over the past nearly 20 years. “MMP governments have been stress tested. They have navigated us through a highly volatile period of international relations in a new world defined by terrorism, wars in Iraqi and Afghanistan, various banking crises and a fundamental shift in New Zealand’s exporting focus.”
Oliver also supports the fact that there will be a review of MMP if people vote for it. He says MMP could work even better if it had a few tweaks.
Since his All Black days, Oliver played rugby in France, gained a Masters in Environmental Policy from Oxford University, and is currently working in London in the field of renewable energy and is about to start an Executive MBA at Cambridge. This is not the first time Oliver has publicly supported a stronger democracy. He was a patron of the Coalition for Open Government, which in 2007 re-formed in response to Government plans to rewrite the election finance laws.
“ The vote to keep MMP should be an apolitical one: it’s not about whether you’re on the left or the right. MMP is the fairest system for all voters,” says Oliver.