Barlow 'surprised' with drop on Greens' list

An exceptional individual performance in 2011 hasn't stopped the Green Party from dropping Nelson candidate Aaryn Barlow from 18th to 30th on its initial list for this year's election, a move he says has left him "quite surprised".

Mr Barlow was a first-time candidate in 2011, when the party vote in Nelson went up from 8.9 per cent to 15.2 per cent, well above the party's national result of 10.6 per cent. The Greens needed to reach 13.5 per cent for him to get into Parliament.

In a statement, he said he had received a lot of positive feedback after the election and having put hundreds of hours into the party's campaign development for 2014, his demotion was "unexpected".

"This is just the initial list so we'll see if I go up in the final list. I'm proud of the democratic nature of the Greens' list ranking process. Politics can be a rough and fickle game and it doesn't go your way sometimes."

The Nelson Greens are holding their candidate selection late next month with Mr Barlow unchallenged for the selection at this stage.

He said that irrespective of where he ended up on the final list, he was committed to the party's kaupapa (values, principles and plans), to "getting the first progressive government in a generation elected" and to increasing the party vote in Nelson to over 20 per cent.

Announcing the initial list on the party's website, co-leader Metiria Turei said it was made up of rankings given by delegates and candidates who attended the party's February candidate conference.

"That we have, in the first 15 of this initial list, two newcomers, four Maori candidates and nine women shows that our members are focused on balancing diversity, fresh thinking, gender equity and experience," she said.

Voting papers will be sent to party members in the first week of April.