Green candidate for Waitakere/Soil & Health Assoc.
Green candidate for Waitakere/Soil & Health Association
Leading environmentalist Dr Meriel Watts has been selected as the Green Party Candidate for the Waitakere electorate. At number 12 on the Party list she stands a good chance of being an MP in the next parliament. She has taken leave from her job as Director of the Soil & Health Association, the country's largest organic growers and consumers association and publisher of ORGANIC NZ.
Dr Watts has a long history of advocacy on behalf of people who have been poisoned by pesticides. She is a member of the Community Advisory Group for the Painted Apple Moth eradication in West Auckland, and for three years has worked to try to curb the use of sprays which have caused many people to become ill.
Meriel was also instrumental in stopping the spraying of chemical herbicides on the roadsides in Auckland City and remains the community representative on the Council's Weed Management Committee. She is also on the boards of many national and international organisations involved with the control of pesticides.
Meriel has a PhD in pesticide policy, with an educational background in agricultural science and economics. She is a qualified naturopath and has had years of experience in organic vegetable growing. She is the author of three books, including The Poisoning of New Zealand. She was, in the early 1990s, a Greenpeace pesticides campaigner, and one of the first GE campaigners in New Zealand.
"I am a passionate supporter of the four Green principles of ecological wisdom, non-violence, social responsibility and appropriate decision-making. They are all interwoven, we cannot have one without the others. My years of work with community groups and individuals both in New Zealand and Asia has given me a profound respect for community wisdom and for the need to incorporate that wisdom and knowledge into our policy processes. That is why I am standing as a Greens candidate" said Dr Watts.