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Green Party announces UK candidates

1 July 2005

Green Party announces UK candidates

The Green Party has selected two candidates to stand in the United Kingdom for this year's general election, Co-Leader Rod Donald announced today.

London-based, Laura Beck, 26, and Jacob Rawls, 34, will be campaigning for Kiwis' party votes over there, continuing a tradition the Green Party started at the 1999 election.

Ms Beck says the campaign will involve: giving a public face to the Green Party, having a voice on issues that affect New Zealanders in the United Kingdom, having a presence at important international events and ensuring people know how to enrol and vote.

"Working from the UK, we have a significant advantage," she said. "Well-travelled Kiwis understand very well the benefits of Green policies such as waste reduction laws which already exist in Germany, great support for cycling and public transport in Copenhagen and the Netherlands and flexible working hours in Britain.

"These policies, considered as coming from 'left field' in New Zealand, are mainstream in Europe. If New Zealanders want to go home to a land that is even more beautiful and clean as the one they left, it is imperative that they vote Green. A vote for the Green Party is a vote to clean up New Zealand."

Ms Beck kicks off her campaign tomorrow when she represents the Green Party at the G8 march in Edinburgh.

Mr Rawls, who will leave for London on Thursday, says it's really worth ex-pat Kiwis voting Green.

"As special voters they could play a key role," he said. "In 1999 special votes made the difference between 4.9% and 5.2%. That helped to lift the Greens over the crucial 5 percent threshold.

"Their votes could make the difference between a Green/Labour government or a National Government with Winston Peters calling the shots. That's why I'm running."

People living overseas are eligible to vote in the coming election if they are New Zealand citizens who have been home in the last three years or New Zealand residents who have been away for less than 12 months. In 2002, the Green Party won 13.7 percent of the overseas votes, which lifted the Green's overall votes to 7 percent.

"That's why winning votes in the UK and Europe is so important to our campaign," Mr Donald said.

ENDS

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