The Opportunities Party's latest batch of new candidates includes a defector from the Green Party.

The party announced five new candidates last week, including East Coast Bays candidate and marine scientist Teresa Moore.

Moore has previously run for the Greens in Rodney and East Coast Bays, and was confirmed as the party's East Coast Bays candidate again in March.

But she decided to drop out of politics, partly for personal reasons and partly because she was "despondent with the political system".


Moore said she changed her mind and joined The Opportunities Party (TOP) after hearing leader Gareth Morgan's ideas on tax and inequality.

Morgan has proposed expanding the definition of taxable income to include a minimum rate of return on any productive assets, including houses.

"He's got the answer that can help fund our social and environmental issues and needs," Moore said. "It was Gareth that made me turn around and support TOP."

Once a solo mother of two children, she was drawn to TOP's universal basic income proposal, which would give families with children under three $200 a week.

Moore was also attracted to standing for a party which could work with politicians on either side of the political spectrum. She felt the Greens had chained themselves to the left-wing bloc.

"We want to get through our ideas no matter who is in power. So choosing your partners now possibly a bit short-sighted.

"We should really be open to collaborating with other groups. I do that with my business life, and I think we should do that in political life too."

Moore founded a tourism company which operates in New Zealand and Tonga, and manages a charity which provides support to families with autism.

TOP's new candidates also include a former Alliance Party candidate, Donna Pokere-Phillips, who will stand in Hamilton East.

Pokere-Phillips is from Taranaki and said she "spearheaded" the initial phase of Parihaka's hugely significant Treaty claim, which was celebrated in a historic ceremony last month.

She now runs an employee advocacy service, and said she had returned to politics because she could "no longer sit on the sideline and watch children and their families being slowly ground down into poverty and homelessness".

Most of TOP's other candidates are political rookies, and come from a diverse range of backgrounds.

They include Dan Thurston, an entrepreneur who founded an Auckland communications agency called 4i's and created two start-ups based in China.

He will stand in Mt Albert and said he joined politics because of growing frustration at the erosion of fairness and equity in New Zealand, and because of his concern about environmental degradation.

Otara-based criminal lawyer Ted Faleauto Johnston will represent the party in Manukau East.

He said "establishment" political parties had done little to improve the lives of poor and disadvantaged people in New Zealand, "despite all the promises and policies".

Sales consultant Vanessa Lee will represent TOP in Tauranga.

The party now has candidates running in 13 of the 71 seats.

Morgan, the party's leader, is standing on the list only while deputy leader Geoff Simmons is running in Wellington Central.