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Green Party to run strong campaign to unseat Nick Smith in Nelson

The Green Party is today announcing that its Nelson candidate, second term local councillor Matt Lawrey, will run to win the electorate and unseat Nick Smith in September’s election.

Mr Lawrey and the Green Party will run a strong two-tick campaign in Nelson, and will offer a positive, solutions-based alternative to Dr Smith and National. It is the Green Party’s first run at winning an electorate seat since Jeanette Fitzsimons won Coromandel in 1999. 

“Matt Lawrey will be an excellent voice in Parliament for the people of Nelson,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“He brings fresh ideas and leadership on issues that Nelsonians care about – protecting our environment, ensuring every Kiwi has a warm, safe, dry home, and creating public spaces that put people first.

“On the other hand, Nick Smith has come to represent much of what’s wrong with this broken-down National government.

“While he was housing minister, house prices and homelessness skyrocketed. As environment minister, his newly revised ‘swimmable’ rivers target is a joke. It’s time for new ideas and energy in Nelson, and Matt represents that,” said Mr Shaw. 

Mr Lawrey says he is humbled by the party’s support and thrilled to be directly taking on Nick Smith in the race to represent Nelson. 

“Since winning the Nelson candidacy I've been approached by a tonne of people who tell me things have gone too far under National,” said Mr Lawrey.

“They're angry about the state of our rivers, they're unhappy about rising inequality, and they’reworried that their kids are never going to able to afford to buy their own home. They also think that after 27 years of Nick Smith, it's time for a new MP." 

Mr Lawrey’s priorities for Nelson are improving the health of the region’s rivers, making it easier for Nelsonians to get into a warm, dry home, and getting a long overdue walkway/cycleway built on the city’s waterfront.

"I love being a Nelson Councillor but I could do so much more for the city as its MP," he said.