16 Feb 2015

ACT joins Northland by-election

9:07 pm on 16 February 2015

The ACT party will stand a Whangarei orchardist as its candidate in the Northland by-election.

Robin Grieve

Robin Grieve Photo: ACT

Robin Grieve, an avocado grower and trainer for Farmsafe, who was number three on ACT's party list in 2014.

Mr Grieve also chairs Pastoral Farming Climate Research, a group that wants to exempt livestock from the government's emissions trading scheme.

The by-election was triggered by the sudden resignation this month of National's Northland MP, Mike Sabin.

The two other confirmed candidates are Labour's Willow-Jean Prime (a lawyer and Far North District Councillor) and Mana's Reuben Porter (an anti-mining campaigner).

The National Party's electorate committee short-listed five nominees at the weekend:

Committee chair Rose May said, given the abnormality of the situation, the number and quality of those who applied was exceptional.

Mrs May said the five candidates now have two weeks to sell themselves as potential MPs to National's 122 Northland delegates, who will choose one of them in Kerikeri on 28 February.

New Zealand First is expected to announce at that time if it will stand, with Winston Peters tipped as the likely candidate.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission is looking for more people to staff polling booths on by-election day, 28 March, and on a casual basis, at its Whangarei headquarters.

It said it needed people who relate dwell to the public, were accurate with detail and could work in a politically neutral manner.

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