A Brookfield bio-soil consultant, Rusty Kane, has announced he will contest the Tauranga seat in this year's General Election.

Mr Kane, 62, is standing as an independent on the platform that New Zealand needs a better political system to encourage more people to vote.

"I want to give a voice to the many people who don't exercise their right to vote, and those disillusioned with the MMP system."

A total of 79 per cent of Tauranga's 46,800 enrolled voters exercised their democratic right in the 2014 General Election, with the lowest turnout of 56 per cent in the 18-24 age group, followed by 59 per cent among the 25-29 age group and 69 per cent in the 30-34s. The biggest turnout was 90 per cent among voters aged 65-69.

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Mr Kane said that MMP was more for political parties and their power, and not about the people.

"MMP puts the parties first, the country second and the people last."

He said that on election day, people voted for a candidate or party for their policies, but it all changed after election night.

"Policies are watered down and another party who you didn't vote for and whose candidates, policies and philosophies you disliked, gets incorporated into your party of choice."

Mr Kane said New Zealand should be looking at systems like Switzerland's legislative referendums, single transferable vote (STV) or tweaking MMP to reduce the number of list MPs. He said list MPs without a constituency mandate should not be able to stand for Prime Minister and favoured the option in which list MPs needed a 25 per cent voter threshold.

Other candidates so far for the Tauranga seat are incumbent Simon Bridges, Labour's Jan Tinetti and the Greens' Emma-Leigh Hodge, with NZ First List MP Clayton Mitchell expected to win his party's nomination for the electorate.


Rusty Kane's election history
2013: Bay of Plenty Regional Council (lost)
2014: Independent for Tauranga in General Election (lost)
2016: Bay of Plenty Regional Council (lost)