22 Nov 2011

Minor parties could bring new voices to Parliament

9:10 pm on 22 November 2011

With only three full days of campaigning left, the minor parties look set to bring some little-known names into Parliament off their lists.

The Greens, New Zealand First and Mana have all been creeping up in the polls.

Last week, some had the Green Party sitting at 13%. If they achieve that percentage of the party vote, they should bring 16 people off their list.

No 6 is Eugenie Sage. The former Canterbury regional councillor says she has got a strong commitment to working on water standards. No 15 on the Green Party list and on the cusp of getting in is James Shaw, who is committed to pushing public transport policies.

The New Zealand First Party has emerged as a contender to get past the 5% threshold to enter Parliament.

No 2 on its list is Tracey Martin, whose focus if she gets in will be on the literacy standards of the young. No 4 is columnist for Investigate Magazine Richard Prosser, who has an agricultural background and is a winemaker and viticulturist by trade. He supports the agricultural sector and is also strongly committed to defence and military issues.

The closer the Mana Party inch towards 1.5% of the party vote, the more likely they are to get a second person into Parliament - provided that leader Hone Harawira retains his Te Tai Tokerau seat.

Mana's co-vice president and No 2 on the list, lawyer Annette Sykes, says she's firmly committed to social justice.

All candidates say are focused on their campaign and there is only one poll that counts.