Garth McVicar leaves SST for Conservatives
Sensible Sentencing Trust chief executive Garth McVicar has stood down from the organisation he founded to run as a Conservative Party candidate.
It is not known whether he will contest an electorate in the September 20 general election, but the announcement ends weeks of speculation on whether he would join the party.
The trust said today that McVicar stood aside from his trust role as soon as he decided to enter politics.
"Garth has made a bold personal decision to seek a parliamentary seat with the Conservative Party for the 2014 election," trust spokeswoman Ruth Money said.
"We're very sorry to lose him. Garth has worked tirelessly over the past 13 or so years as an advocate for change to New Zealand's offender-friendly legal system.
"He hopes to achieve more change through the political process."
McVicar has courted controversy in the past, particularly over comments that crime would rise if gay people were allowed to marry.
Early last year, before same-sex marriage was made legal, McVicar submitted to Parliament that changing the law would be another erosion of basic morals and values in society that had led to an escalation of child abuse, domestic violence and an ever-increasing prison population.
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig also spoke out against same-sex marriage.
The party said at the weekend that its chief executive, Christine Rankin, would stand in the Epsom electorate.
It plans to have a candidate in every seat in the general election.