Mark Servian to stand for Greens in Ham East
The Green Party has gone for a mix of experience and youth to spearhead its campaign in the Hamilton city electorates at the next general election.
The man responsible for the Riff Raff statue in the CBD, Mark Servian, will contest the Hamilton East electorate held by National MP David Bennett while former Hamilton Girls High school student and parliamentary staffer Jennifer Lawless, 28, will stand in Hamilton West.
Mr Servian has lived in Hamilton for 25 years and ran for the Hamilton City Council elections in 2010 and planned to follow the familiar Green Party strategy to get its MPs into parliament.
"As all Green Party candidates always do, we are campaigning for the party vote primarily."
In the last election the Greens polled higher than five per cent in all booths in Hamilton on their way to 11 per cent of the vote which gave them 14 seats in the House.
Mr Servian said it was a chance for Hamilton to have another two voices in Parliament but they had to be high enough on the party ranking to be confirmed by May.
"I guess both me and Jennifer are getting in there early enough so that we can compete in that particular competition," he said.
"This is probably the first time in a number of years that Waikato candidates have been in the position to participate in the Greens' list ranking process."
Ms Lawless worked for Green MP Kevin Hague in Wellington for five years and wanted to represent Hamilton's increasingly diverse face.
"It is becoming so much more diverse and colourful than when I was a teenager there," she said.
"I'd really like to represent young people and particularly those with children because they are facing some really big challenges."
National MP Tim Macindoe is the Hamilton West incumbent but like Mr Servian, Ms Lawless will campaign for the party vote to grow the Greens' position as the third-biggest party in the House.
"I think it is really a failed platform of an economic ideology over the last few years that hasn't seen what it has promised.
"I will be challenging what I see as a Government that hasn't delivered on its promises."
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said both Mr Servian and Ms Lawless were strong candidates who would help the party grow its popularity in the city.
"The Greens have been growing over the last few elections and it's important that is reflected right across the country," he said.
"There are more people looking for those types of political options to represent them. I think that as Hamilton changes I expect that the Green vote will continue to grow."