The Ban 1080 Party has named West Coast tourism operator and possum pie-specialist Peter Salter as its West Coast-Tasman candidate.
Salter owns the celebrated Bushman's Centre at Pukekura, and has recently been in the headlines for continuing to offer his possum pies in the face of official opposition. Last month the Ministry for Primary Industries dropped its prosecution after he agreed to take the pies off his menu and undertake a food safety course.
Party founder and co-leader Bill Wallace, a Golden Bay mussel farmer, said Salter had been getting legal possum meat "but when they 1080-d the area where the possum factory was" he had turned to making pies with possums he got himself, leading to the case.
"He's a person who's always done possuming-type things and I felt that I'm busy enough trying to get this party going. There's more voters down there than in Tasman. Coasters are bit parochial, Peter's a recognised person down there and he's keen to put his hand up."
Number one on the nine-man party list is co-leader Mike Downard, who is standing in the Coromandel electorate.
Wallace is number two and Salter number three. Another West Coaster, Mike McLunie, is in sixth spot, with Glen Tomlinson, standing in Kaikoura, fifth.
Wallace, who announced the formation of the party in mid-June, said membership had reached just under 1400.
He said rising anger over 1080 use had reached a tipping point. The party's "passionate and knowledgeable candidates" would, if elected, work with the Government to ensure the right decisions were made for New Zealand's conservation estate.
- The Nelson Mail
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