The Herald is running a series on the new faces contesting this election
* Name: EUGENIE SAGE
* Age: 53
* Green Party candidate for Selwyn.
* No 6 on the list, will be an MP if Greens win 6 per cent.
* Best known as one of the Environment Canterbury councillors sacked in a Government takeover last year.
* Described as a life-long conservationist, was this year awarded life membership of Forest and Bird.
At number six on the Green Party list, Eugenie Sage is all but guaranteed a place in Parliament following the November 26 election.
While the 53-year-old is unlikely to win the safe National electorate of Selwyn, the Greens have been consistently polling at close to 10 per cent, which would give them 12 seats and bring Ms Sage in ahead of sitting MPs Gareth Hughes and Dave Clendon.
Ms Sage is perhaps best known as one of the Environment Canterbury councillors who were sacked and replaced with Government-appointed commissioners last year.
The incident is not something Ms Sage has simply put behind her, and she said the way the Government had acted played a great part in sparking her election bid.
"There wasn't a democratic process there," she said. "The urgency, no referral to select committee, and no opportunity for the public to make submissions, when it's a basic constitutional principle that there is no taxation without representation."
Along with a fight for more transparent lawmaking, Ms Sage's parliamentary 'to do' list is made up of several conservation projects she has been involved in for years.
In particular, her interests lie in encouraging debate about the environmental impacts of coal mining, promoting sustainable energy, and developing better water management options.
Earthquake recovery is, not surprisingly, another major focus for Ms Sage, who lives in Christchurch's Diamond Harbour with her partner of 27 years, Richard Suggate.
The Greens have already launched a campaign to incorporate sustainable elements into Christchurch's rebuild where possible, and Ms Sage has long been part of that work.
Ms Sage's working history bears out the description of her as a life-long conservationist. During her 13-year stint with Forest and Bird, she is remembered particularly for her campaigning efforts against Timberlands' West Coast beech scheme, and improving protection for wetlands.
She was awarded a life membership of the organisation this year.
Ms Sage said she was raised with slightly more conservative views, but remembered her father railing against former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.
"It wasn't Greens from a young age, because obviously the party wasn't formed then, but certainly we did have the Values manifesto at home, which was the predecessor of the Greens."
Despite being a former Labour Party member and working for Labour for five years in the 1980s, including as Helen Clark's press secretary, Ms Sage said the Greens were the more natural fit.
She became involved with the Greens in about 2004, but her work with Forest and Bird and later Environment Canterbury meant she had never been able to stand as a candidate.