There will one face missing at Sunday's launch of the country's newest party, Sustainable New Zealand, says founder and former Green Party member Vernon Tava.
Party Secretary Mike Hall was killed in a plane crash early last month.
"He was a wonderful guy," said Tava.
Hall had been head of the New Zealand Fire Service for 10 years, was a Companion of the Queen's Service Order.
He had been the flying instructor in a light plane which crashed into the Tararua Ranges, killing both men on board, Hall and Norman Comerford.
"That was a real tragedy and set us back a bit," said Tava.
The party launch will take place at the Zealandia bird sanctuary in Wellington on Sunday.
It is being seen as a potential ally of the National Party but Tava insists it is an independent party.
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Tava said the party will be launching a $1 billion conservation policy as well.
"It will be a detailed costed policy – not just more money for Government departments but also for funding various private initiatives that are going on."
The policy would include more funding for the Department of Conservation but also incentives and support for private groups in the conservation field.
He said he would be introducing the party's board and laying the party's broader vision "particularly our more economically and technologically optimistic view of where environmental issues should be".
He believed the Greens in Parliament were "trapped in the 70s."
"We are looking to revisit and update that," he said.
"There's a very negative and doom-led view of the world, particularly the whole 'limit-to-growth' hypothesis' which is that it is capitalism and the industrial system itself that is the problem.
"That colours the approach on how you approach virtually any environmental issue, particularly the approach to fostering innovation."
Tava was a leading member of the Green Party and contested the male leadership contest in May 2015 which James Shaw won.
He went on to run the campaign of Erica Stanford who successfully stood for National in East Coast Bays in 2017.
He then unsuccessfully sought selection as a National candidate in the Northcote byelection, won by Dan Bidois.
Tava insisted the party was independent and said he had not briefed National on the launch.
"I want us to get up our own momentum. I'm taking care that it is an independent party," he said.
"I know there is lots of rumour and innuendo about where we have come from and that money and logistical support has been provided. I can tell you that is not the case. We have been doing it the hard way and building it up from scratch from the beginning of this year."
Tava said he had not decided where to stand yet but mentioned he had grown up in Auckland's North Shore – a seat held by National's blue-green MP Maggie Barry but who just this week announced her retirement in 2020.
Asked about the coincidence he said: "I'd love to pretend that was some kind of grand plan but it is just one of those things."
Tava said he wanted to do some more analysis before making a decision on where to stand and work out where it would get the strongest party vote.
"It would be very unwise for a new party to be standing 60 candidates. It would be a lot smarter to stand 20 and support them really well."
The public was going to be most interested in the top 10.
Tava moved from Australia to New Zealand at the age of five but there are still hints of an Australian accent. He is aged 41.
"Not a boomer and not one of the dreaded millennials. Generation X"
He said was a lawyer for a few years and now he was a business broker.
He said the Electoral Commission had accepted the party's bona fides and was about to open a two-week consultation on a logo.