Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar has been selected to run for the Conservative Party in this year's election.

The hard-line law and order lobbyist was confirmed as a candidate today, though it is not yet known if he will contest an electorate.

Mr McVicar is the country's most vocal advocate for tougher bail laws, harsher sentences for criminals, greater scrutiny of judges and higher thresholds for name suppression.

The trust's spokeswoman Ruth Money said in a statement this afternoon: "Garth has made a bold personal decision to seek a Parliamentary seat with the Conservative Party for the 2014 election.


"We're very sorry to lose him. Garth has worked tirelessly over the past 13 or so years as an advocate for change to New Zealand's offender-friendly legal system. He hopes to achieve more change through the political process."

Ms Money said Mr McVicar would step down from his role at the organisation while he was running for Parliament. The trust would remain independent and open to working with any political party.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust helped to run the high-profile Christie's Law campaign, which lobbied for tougher bail laws after teenager Christie Marceau was killed by a man, who was on bail at the time.

It also runs an online register of sexual and violent offenders.

Mr McVicar has previously courted controversy by claiming that legalising gay marriage would lead to an increase in crime rates, in particular child abuse and domestic violence.
The Conservative Party was aiming to run a candidate in every electorate, but have so far named only a handful of contenders.

Leader Colin Craig is running for the East Coast Bays seat and party chief executive Christine Rankin is contesting the Epsom electorate.

25 Mar, 2014 3:00pm
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The party has also chosen two candidates for the South Auckland seats - Dr Edward Saafi in Mangere and Mr Elliot Ikelei in Manurewa.