Election Candidate Profile: James Harold (Independent)
A lad who wants to grow hemp into a full blown industry is hoping to be elected as an independent candidate for Wairarapa.
James Harold has lived the majority of his life in the Wairarapa region and wants to see and make change.
He is the Wairarapa representative for United Peoples Movement New Zealand but their party registration was declined by the Electoral Commission.
Mr Harold said he stood by the party's values and said it wasn't about the next three years; it was about future generations.
"Our party is putting the environment and people first and the economy last. I am searching for the truth, speaking the truth and want to make the public aware of what is going on in our country at the moment."
Mr Harold seven months ago didn't have an interest in politics but now hopes to make his mark advocating for hemp, so it can develop into a standalone industry and bring profit and jobs to the rural areas.
Mr Harold said it was a variety of the cannabis plant, which had 50,000 uses being used for food, fuel, clothing and shelter.
"It's the most versatile thing that grows and will bring wealth to the regions. It will create jobs and wealth and when there are more jobs the crime rate goes down."
Mr Harold's brother has a hemp licence and they were hoping to lead the way by growing it on their dad's farm and making products from it.
"We want to make an example so others can copy. We don't need to be killing the environment and drilling oil from oceans as hemp is the way forward."
Mr Harold grew up on a farm in Pongaroa and because of his upbringing had a passion for the environment and outdoors, which was another reason he entered the political world.
If elected he hoped to ban the use of 1080, as he said it was poisoning the forests and meant no meat could be taken from wherever it had been used.
"If we stop this we can get more jobs for people as instead of dropping poison we could have trappers. What they're currently doing is just counter productive."
Another area Mr Harold wanted to clear up was the region's waterways.
"The money from hemp could help us solve this big problem."
Mr Harold is excited about the build up to the election and is looking forward to getting his voice heard at the upcoming candidate debates.
He lives in Motea with his wife Emily and two children Axel, 2, and Lilly, 4.
In between his forestry, Mr Harold loves to spend time with family and get outdoors hunting and diving.
"I am all about the environment and the outdoors and protecting it for generations."
Mr Harold grew up on a farm in Pongaroa and attended Pongaroa School before heading off to Napier Boys' High School. He took a strong interest in forestry and after school went to Taratahi Agricultural Centre before studying forest management in Rotorua.