Northland doctor Lance O’Sullivan is in hot demand among political parties – but he’s not ruling out going it alone with a new party.
The Kaitaia-based GP has been talking with The Opportunities Party (TOP) founder Gareth Morgan about becoming the new leader.
But it’s understood the Greens, ACT, the Maori Party and National are also vying for O’Sullivan’s attention.
The 2014 New Zealander of the Year, who was honoured for helping the disadvantaged in rural areas, is known for his strong views on pokies, smoking and compulsory vaccinations.
O’Sullivan’s told Newshub he’s been talking to various political leaders – including TOP.
“The Opportunities Party is one of a few parties that I have talked to, and one of the current political movements that I’ll speak to – one of the many,” O’Sullivan said.
“There’s also – is there a place for something new in New Zealand? I think that’s something that shouldn’t be lost in this discussion.”
He says he is willing to compromise – if he can find the right vehicle so he can contribute and give back to New Zealand.
“That’s why it’s so important to have these conversations with the different groups to say, well look, how far away from your philosophy as a political party… are my values?”
O’Sullivan admits he’s been interested in politics for a while and is targeting the 2020 election.
“I don’t presume for a moment that people have got my number on speed dial. I’m just humbled by the opportunity to meet some of the leadership of some of the political parties, I respect them all.”
He insists he can make a bigger difference in Parliament than as a rural doctor now.
“It’s all about where I can contribute most.”