Meet the 5 per centers: Conservative's Parliament hopefuls

Garth McVicar
Garth McVicar
A lawyer, a former Destiny candidate and a former cop will be among the new faces in Parliament if the Conservative Party wins 5 per cent of the party vote.

The party stands to bring in six MPs if it reaches the threshold for the first time on September 20.

The top three candidates on its list are familiar names: Colin Craig, Christine Rankin and Garth McVicar.

The next three -- Melissa Perkin, Edward Saafi and Callum Blair -- have a lower profile. All three candidates say they were drawn to Conservative because of its "pro-family policies".

Like many on the party's list, Dr Saafi and Mr Blair come from a fundamentalist Christian background.

Dr Saafi has "dipped his toe" into politics before, coming a distant third for the Destiny Party in 2005 in Mangere.

He has a hardline stance on prostitution, drugs and abortion.

On his campaign's Facebook page, he is linked to an anti-abortion poster mocking the Greens' policy of free early childhood education: "Consider it a reward for surviving the womb under their later-term abortion policy."

He has been working as a biomedical researcher at Auckland University of Technology, but is currently campaigning full-time.

Mr Blair entered local politics in Auckland's North Shore because his work as a community constable did not pay the bills for his six children.

He is a Mormon and long-time National voter who switched allegiance to the Conservatives out of frustration with anti-smacking laws.

He also wants no early release for serious offenders.

Ms Perkin says she joined the Conservative Party because it was supportive of parents and families.

"The traditional family has been under attack for some time."

Now executive director of the Bar Association, she has experience in family and criminal law and if elected wants to improve access to justice, in particular in leaky-building cases.

- By Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald

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