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Greens to stand in Mt Albert by-election

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/12/2016

Co-leaders of the Green Party, James Shaw and Metiria Turei © Getty Co-leaders of the Green Party, James Shaw and Metiria Turei The Greens are going to field a candidate against Labour in the Mt Albert by-election, which National isn't contesting.

The Greens know they don't have much of a chance.

"If selected, Labour has a very strong likely candidate in Jacinda Ardern and she will be the favourite to win," co-leader Metiria Turei said on Friday.

"However, that's not a reason for us, or any other party, to not field a candidate."

The by-election, on February 25, is to replace David Shearer, who is off on a peacekeeping role in South Sudan with the UN.

Ms Ardern, a list MP, is almost certain to stand in the safe seat previously held by former prime minister Helen Clark.

Ms Turei said Mt Albert voters deserved to hear more than just one voice on issues such as housing, rents and income.

Labour's campaign manager Andrew Kirton says his party is relaxed about the Greens standing.

"Labour and the Greens share similar views about how the National government is failing Aucklanders," he said.

"It's just a shame that National isn't prepared to front up to the Mt Albert community and explain their record."

Prime Minister Bill English says National is focused on winning next year's general election and there's no point wasting resources on losing a by-election.

In the 2014 general election Mr Shearer won Mt Albert with a 10,656 vote majority.

National's Melissa Lee was second and the Greens' Jeanette Elley third.

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