Roberts new candidate for Greens

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014
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JONATHAN CAMERON
Sarah Roberts

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Environmental activist Sarah Roberts is the new candidate for the Green Party in New Plymouth, but her focus will be on growing the party's vote rather than getting herself to Wellington.

Ms Roberts was selected as the candidate for the New Plymouth electorate at a meeting chaired by Green MP Gareth Hughes this week.

But Ms Roberts was not looking to get elected, she said.

"That is not the focus of the Green Party and their campaigning. The campaigning is to encourage the voters to vote for the Green Party. The party vote is the focus."

Everyone standing as a Green candidate went on to the party list and the rankings would be decided at grass roots level in the next few weeks, she said.

"If I'm chosen through this democratic process I would consider going to Parliament, but that's their decision," Ms Roberts said.

Ms Roberts was approached by the party to stand, but she had been thinking about it for some time.

"I felt it was a good fit."

Though best known for her anti-fracking stance, she said her interest in the environment was much wider than just the oil industry.

"It's always been more than just fracking. It's also about encouraging sustainable dairy and wanting clean rivers that we can swim in, not just paddle on top."

Last year Ms Roberts was unsuccessful in her bid to get on to the Taranaki Regional Council, but said she felt well supported by the number of votes she received in "New Zealand's oil and gas province".

"Saying we need a closer look [at the industry] is very important, but not necessarily popular."

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