Greens' Barlow 'gutted' at chop

BILL MOORE
Last updated 12:58 03/06/2014

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The Green Party has dumped its Nelson candidate Aaryn Barlow over the way he left his job at the Nelson Environment Centre in what he calls "a bit of an over-dramatisation".

"I'm really bummed. I don't understand, to be honest. Everyone I've spoken to is really confused," the second-time candidate said today.

Neither Barlow nor the party would go into details, citing an "employment issue", but Barlow did say it related to the way he left the environment centre, and was tied to information sharing with a third party.

Now working with Solar Electric Technology, Barlow said he had quit his three-year-job as energy project manager at the centre a month ago.

"It was to do with a project partner. I couldn't work with him ethically . . . I tried to end the relationship with that company but I didn't do it very well. I ended up resigning over it."

The falling-out with the project partner was "due to what I would deem their lack of professionalism and ethics", Barlow said.

He said someone had told the Greens on Saturday about what had happened and "because of my links with the centre and the solar industry, the party basically didn't want to take any risks".

What happened was "not that major", Barlow said, and he was "gutted" that he was off the list and would not be able to front the Greens' party vote campaign in Nelson.

"I'm still a bit shocked the party has not supported me and has reacted so strongly to a relatively minor employment issue from a former job. It really is a disproportionate reaction which myself and others in the party are quite taken aback by."

He would support the party's "amazing volunteers" during the campaign and hoped to be back as a candidate in the next election, he said.

Greens' national co-convenor Pete Huggins said the party was "alerted on Saturday to some events" and had been in discussions over the weekend with Barlow, "the result of which was his decision to resign".

"It relates to things which occurred with a former employer. Based on what we know and Aaryn has confirmed with us, we think he's made the right decision to withdraw, and that's based on our standards for our candidates.

"We've got to uphold the highest standards."

The party would work with its Nelson members to find another candidate "as soon as possible", Huggins said.

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- The Nelson Mail

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