Green Party announces Auckland Action Against Poverty campaigner as new candidate

Ricardo Menendez March.
Ricardo Menendez March. Photo credit: The AM Show

An anti-poverty campaigner has thrown their hat into the political ring for this year's general election.

Ricardo Menendez March from Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) will stand for the Green Party in Auckland electorate Maungakiekie. Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick stood in the seat in 2017.

He says he wants to ensure the Government goes further on addressing inequality.

"The truth is, working families are working harder and longer every day, struggling more and more to make ends meet," he said in a statement.

"Successive Labour and National Governments have promised us change, but working people are having to queue at Work and Income to make ends meet."

As a coordinator for AAAP, Menendez March says he's fought for liveable incomes, ending benefit sanctions and changing the culture at Work and Income.

"I'm in the Greens because it is the only party that has been consistently fighting to lift benefit levels, for state housing for all and taxing the wealthy few so that we can fund public services for all of us."

Menendez March says a "stronger" Green Party vote is needed to take welfare, tax, housing and environmental reforms to the negotiating table.

"The other parties have not come to the table to increase benefit levels, fair-pay agreements and a proper just transition programme to ensure we create green jobs for the future."

Maungakiekie is currently held by National Party MP Denise Lee.

Other parties are yet to announce who is running for the seat.