More candidates vying to represent Hawke's Bay are coming forward, with the general election date now confirmed.

Yesterday Prime Minister Bill English confirmed New Zealand would go to the polls on September 23.

Chosen for being almost exactly three years after the 2014 election, on September 20, the date also allowed the Prime Minister to attend two global forums.

Yesterday the Green Party candidates for the Tukituki and Napier electorates were also announced - as Hastings resident Chris Perley, and Damon Rusden - formerly of Napier.


This will be Mr Perley's second time contesting the Tukituki electorate, after standing in 2014.

With a background in land use, regional policy, and research, Mr Perley said he had been a vocal advocate for protecting the environment, but also for connecting a healthy environment and society with a strong local economy.

Other issues facing the region included water quality, housing, "the mining of resources whatever the environmental risk, and the continual decline in social standards - at work and in our homes".

Mr Perley also said the Ruataniwha Dam would result in a push toward a corporate model of agriculture where wealth is exported, a poorer environment and local economy, "as well as the prospect of Hawke's Bay residents losing our port".

"We can have a better environment, a better community and a better economy. That should be our vision," said Mr Perley.

While environmental issues facing the Napier electorate was a focus for candidate Mr Rusden, the 22-year-old said he was passionate about education, funding for social services, and housing affordability.

"These kind of issues need to be addressed," he said. "Whatever [residents] care about, we need to have a solution and we need to make that solution known. I think the Green Party has the best solutions, and that's why I've joined them."

Having gained political experience while studying at Victoria University in the nation's capital, the first-time candidate said he chose to stand in Napier as he knew the area, the issues, and "it's home".

As a "youthful, enthusiastic" candidate, Mr Rusden also hoped to engage with residents, youth, and disenfranchised voters.

He and Mr Perley will be vying for the seat alongside incumbent Labour MP Stuart Nash, and a National candidate.

Nominations for the National candidacy were due to have closed on January 27, however yesterday National Party Napier electorate chairman Ian Mayne said the close-off date had been extended to February 24.

Despite speculation, Hawke's Bay businesswoman Sarah-Jo Barley said she could not comment yesterday on whether she had thrown her name in the ring.

Yesterday local politicians said the confirmation of the election date set the ball rolling for their campaigns.

Mr Nash said it was good to know the election date early.

"It allows us to plan with a lot more certainty," he said. "We know what we've got to do, so we're getting on and doing it."

"Now the real hard work begins, the planning starts, and away we go."

Labour's Tukituki candidate Anna Lorck said it was "all go" for her team, as they mustered local determination, and personal commitment for "what will be a hard fought race for the marginal Tukituki seat".

"Our ALL for Tukituki team is already underway with door knocking and we have 84 neighbourhood street meetings planned through to the end of June - and that's before the official campaign starts."

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri said she was happy the date had been confirmed and now it was all hands to the pump.

"We have been gearing up and organising ourselves since December and we are ready to win back the seat. We want to take the message out there not so much where the government failed but what we can offer."