Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Greens win contest for Chloe Swarbrick

The Green Party's newest recruitment Chloe Swarbrick says she was approached by several political parties before she picked the Greens.

The failed mayoral candidate won't say which other parties tried to win her over, though Labour leader Andrew Little has previously expressed an interest in meeting with her.

"I have always voted Greens," the 22-year-old said after confirming her candidacy this morning.

"I just affiliate with what they do and I'm on board with their policies and their values."

At a time when UK and US politics was becoming increasingly bitter, she wanted to be "part of a positive change".

Swarbrick also considered standing for Parliament as an independent out of concern voters were tired of "establishment" parties.

But her mayoral bid made her acutely aware of her inexperience and the huge costs of campaigning for office.

Running as an independent, she placed third in the mayoral race with 29,098 votes despite having no political background and minimal financial support.

Her chance of getting into Parliament will depend on the list placing given to her by Green Party members.

The party already has five Auckland-based MPs and several more high-ranking candidates based in the city.

However, it is understood that at least one of the party's MPs will leave Parliament at the next election.

Swarbrick is ambitious, saying she not only wants to stand in an Auckland seat but to win one.

"I am really keen to run somewhere where I can actually run to win."

The Greens usually focus most of their energy on the party vote and have only won one electorate seat in their 26-year history.

If she makes it into Parliament, she has her eye on roles in justice, arts and culture, broadcasting, or Treaty issues.

Swarbrick was born and raised in Auckland, and had a short stint living in Papua New Guinea where her father was working as a consultant.

She went to Epsom Girls' Grammar and studied law and arts at the University of Auckland before founding a digital marketing business, which she runs with her partner Alex, and employs one other person.

While studying she worked for student radio station bFM, where she tried and failed numerous times to get Prime Minister John Key on her shows. She has "serious disagreements" with National's policy platform, she says.

Aged 22, Swarbrick is reluctant to be pigeon-holed as a youth politician, but says she will bring a young person's perspective to national politics.

She has a $43,000 student loan, she is locked out of the Auckland housing market, and doesn't own a car.

Having shed her independence, she says the Green Party is part of her long-term future. If she misses out on Parliament next year, she'll likely try again.

"Definitely. I'm in it for the long haul."

- NZ Herald

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