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Top Of South Candidates High On Green List

Aug 30, 1999

Top of South Is. candidates high on Green list

Candidates from the top of the South Island have secured key places on the Green Party list issued today, including number three position for Marlborough organic farmer Ian Ewen-Street.

Mr Ewen-Street, party agriculture spokesperson, follows party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons (at number one) and Co-Leader Rod Donald (at number two). He has been a prominent advocate of organic farming, including lobbying Federated Farmers and producer boards recently about the dangers of the new focus on genetic engineering to New Zealand's $65 million organic export industry.

"International indignation with deteriorating food quality following the BSE (mad cow disease), dioxin and toxic sludge scares in Europe and the emphatic public rejection of genetically engineered food have left us with a priceless opportunity," Mr Ewen-Street said.

"We already trade heavily on our clean green image and with burgeoning demand for food guaranteed to be free of pollutants, we are perfectly placed to give our image some real substance. Demand for organic products far exceeds our abilty to supply them and overseas buyers are prepared to pay high premiums for pure, certified organic foods.

"We no longer need to try to be internationally competitive in commodities and accept the resulting rock-bottom prices for our produce. If New Zealand moves to become an organic country, we will have assured markets and prices we can dictate. It really is an exciting opportunity for the NZ economy," he said.

Other "top of the South" candidates in the Green Party top 10 are Nelson candidate Mike Ward at number eight and West-Coast-Tasman candidate Richard Davies at number 10.

Mr Ward has an extensive background in both local and nationwide politics. He was co-leader of the Values Party from 1985 to 1988 and is now strong communities spokesperson for the Green Party. Mr Davies was founding conference organiser for the Green Party in 1990 and as "rainbow co-ordinator" is organiser and spokesperson for the party's gay network.

ENDS


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