Peak oil, climate change and the "ecological crisis" are key issues for the coming election - not tax cuts and Winston Peters, according to Lawrence O'Halloran, the latest candidate to join the contest to be Palmerston North's next MP.
Mr O'Halloran, the 2005 Green Party candidate for Palmerston North, is standing again for the party in this year's general election.
"We have to stop going into elections with people voting on the basis of what will affect us and our back pocket . . . and think about what sort of planet our children and grandchildren are going to inherit," Mr O'Halloran said.
"Our ecology, our planet, cannot sustain the consequences of the demands we're making upon it.
"We're seeing what is, in effect, a crisis, manifested by global warming, changing weather patterns, loss of natural habitat . . . food shortages and rising food prices."
The Greens picked up 7 percent of the party vote in Palmerston North in 2002 and 6.5 percent in 2005.
Mr O'Halloran said he wanted to improve on that - his focus would be on the party vote, rather than the Palmerston North electorate race.
He saw the Greens as part of a coalition government, but said he had no expectation of political office for himself.
"I have no aspirations to enter Parliament. It's important for democracy that local people come forward and stand for policies . . . not personalities."
Mr O'Halloran is a union organiser for the Association of University Staff at Massey and has worked for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. Before joining the union movement, he was a registered nurse and midwife.
"As a Christian [Catholic], I have a commitment to social justice arising from my faith and I express that by working in the trade union movement," he said.
He was opposed to scientific experiments on animals and served as convenor of Manawatu Men Against Violence (Manline).
Mr O'Halloran has lived in Palmerston North since 1986.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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