The Green Party has taken a punt on its young, high-profile women candidates, giving them rankings that all but ensure they will become MPs.

Auckland Mayoral candidate Chloe Swarbrick and human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman have been elevated into the top 10 in the party's list for the general election, which was released today.

At current polling, the Greens would get 14 MPS. Under its new list, that would mean four new faces in Parliament. The other two new MPs would be Green Party staffer Jack McDonald, who is ranked at 13 and Wairarapa farmer John Hart, at 14.

Chloe Swarbrick and Golritz Gharaman are two young, female faces aiming to attract the younger vote for the Greens at this year's election

The top 15, which was voted on by 6000 party members, features nine women and three Maori candidates.


Sportswoman and broadcaster Hayley Holt is almost within reach of Parliament after flying up the ranks from 29 in a draft list to 17 in the final list.

The new list has a greater level of rejuvenation than past elections, when the members tended towards conservatism and backed experienced MPs, even if they had not shone in Parliament.

The newcomers in this year's list have risen up the ranks at the expense of sitting MPs, including David Clendon (16) and Denise Roche (15). They would miss out on Parliament at current polling levels. Mojo Mathers (11) and Barry Coates (12) also fell from their positions in the draft list.

Asked about his ranking, Clendon said: "I'm disappointed, of course. I would much rather be at number 11 than number 16, who wouldn't?"

Some of the party's older MPs held onto their high rankings - Kennedy Graham rose three spots to 8th place.

Co-leader Metiria Turei said members had clearly signalled that they wanted new talent. But she noted that no MP had been relegated to an unwinnable spot.

"We are very confident we will return the caucus and new people to Parliament in September."

She said there was "no doubt" some candidates would be disappointed in their ranking: "That is just one of the hazards of having to rank a fantastic group of people."

The Greens say their candidates list reflects New Zealand's diversity. Photo / Audrey Young
The Greens say their candidates list reflects New Zealand's diversity. Photo / Audrey Young

Co-leader James Shaw the list was a mix of experience and fresh, new talent. It included new Maori and Pacific candidates, a high proportion of women, and candidates from a mix of backgrounds - activists, businesspeople, lawyers and others.

"This list looks a lot like modern New Zealand," he said.

If elected, 22 year-old Swarbrick would be New Zealand's youngest MP in 42 years, and Iranian-born Ghahraman would be the first refugee in Parliament.

Turei dismissed suggestions that voters might see the new line-up as inexperienced.

"Parliament is always about representation. Youth may not bring experience in terms of jobs and life experience but they bring experience of young people trying to make their way in New Zealand society under enormous strain."

Swarbrick said she hoped to address the perpetual issue of low turnout among young people.

"If you compare the 18-year-old to 24-year-old bracket with the 70-plus-year-old bracket, there's only 10,000 more people in the 70-plus bracket but 150,000 more of them vote.

"So I think that demonstrates that there's a real need to get more people engaged in voting."

When the draft list was announced, Holt said she was not ready to be an MP yet and wanted to finish her history and politics degree before entering Parliament.

She said today she was "stoked" with her rise in the rankings, while admitting that the prospect of Parliament and media scrutiny was "quite intimidating right now".

She added that she was "ready to be an MP".

Holt will step down from her presenting role on the sports show The Crowd Goes Wild before the election campaign.

Turei said the party was still primarily focused on the party vote.

The Greens have only ever won one electorate seat, in Coromandel.

The party won 10.7 per cent of the vote in 2014.

Green Party list 2017
1 Metiria Turei (no change from draft list)
2 James Shaw (nc)
3 Marama Davison (up 1)
4 Julie Anne Genter (down 1)
5 Eugenie Sage (nc)
6 Gareth Hughes (up 1)
7 Jan Logie (down 1)
8 Kennedy Graham (up 3)
9 Chloe Swarbrick (up 4)
10 Golriz Ghahraman (up 5)
11 Mojo Mathers (down 3)
12 Barry Coates (down 2)
13 Jack McDonald (down 4)
14 John Hart (down 2)
15 Denise Roche (down 1)
16 David Clendon (nc)
17 Hayley Holt (up 12)
18 Teall Crossen (up 1)
19 Teanau Tuiono (down 2)
20 Lealani Tamu (down 2)