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Youth bring own experience: Greens

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/05/2017 Karen Sweeney

The new-look Green Party looks to have youth on its side, but the party is assuring voters they've got age and experience too.

The party unveiled its final list this week ahead of September's election, with high positions for new, young candidates like Chloe Swarbrick, Golriz Ghahraman, Jack McDonald and Hayley Holt.

There's also a high proportion of first-time candidates.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says they bring their own kind of experience to the line-up.

"They bring experience of being young people trying to make their way in new Zealand society under enormous strain," she said.

"It's very difficult for young people in all sorts of ways with education, with housing, with job uncertainty. Those voices deserve a place in our Parliament."

Sitting MPs have taken to Twitter to defend accusations the party membership, who voted on the final places, were squeezing out older candidates in favour of youth.

Julie-Anne Genter, third on the list, pointed out that more of the top 20 candidates are aged 60 or over than are aged under 30.

They include 71-year-old Kennedy Graham who moved up from 11th place to eighth, and 60-year-old Barry Coates who also defended the list on Twitter.

"I'm 60, experienced and thrilled to be working with a great mix of ages and skills," he said.

The party expects at current poll levels they will claim between 18 and 20 seats in Parliament, with hopes for even better numbers once campaigning officially begins.

THE GREEN PARTY TOP 20 AT A GLANCE:

* 11 women

* 9 men

* 4 under 35

* 13 35 to 59

* 3 60 plus

* 12 sitting MPs

* 8 candidates.

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