The Green Party is poised to announce its own candidate
for the Dunedin mayoral election race.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei confirmed this week she
will announce the party's candidate at the Queens cafe, in
the Exchange, next Friday.
The Greens had either offered or supported candidates in
local body elections in the city before - but never
challenging for the mayoralty.
Dame Sukhi Turner, who was the city's mayor for three terms
from 1995, was a Green Party member but was not a formal
Green Party candidate.
Ms Turei would not reveal who would be standing but said the
Greens were excited to have ''a strong candidate'' for the
Other Green candidates would stand for other seats, Ms Turei
''Local councils are extremely important and often the
solutions around green issues need to be done at the local
Any Green candidate elected to a local seat would remain
independent of the overall, national, party, Ms Turei said.
''There would be a level of independence for any candidate
because to work at a local level you need to be aware of the
local issues which can differ from place to place.''
Speaking from Wanaka last night, Dame Sukhi said candidates
with party connections had served on the council in the past
- though not all of them had been overtly party-political
performing in those roles.
It seemed city voters did not want political parties on the
council, she said.
It was easier if candidates were not connected to a party
because they were seen not to be influenced by people outside
of Dunedin, she said.
University of Otago political lecturer Bryce Edwards said
that, nationally, a ''negative perception'' of political
parties meant Labour and National stayed away from local body
The Greens would have seen the success of Wellington Mayor
Celia Wade-Brown, who stood as a Green candidate, and would
look to replicate her success in other cities, he said.
Former mayor Richard Walls was the National Party's Dunedin
North MP before he was elected to the Dunedin City Council in
1980, and to the mayoralty in 1989.