Greens select teen climate striker Luke Wijohn to challenge Jacinda Ardern's Mt Albert electorate

Teenage climate change striker Luke Wijohn has been selected as the Green Party's candidate to challenge Jacinda Ardern's Mt Albert electorate at the election. 

Luke Wijohn, 17, organised the School Strike 4 Climate marches in New Zealand, where thousands of students took to the streets in September demanding more action on climate change from elected officials. 

The teenager said School Strike 4 Climate was about "creating a peaceful protest for change" and that for him, Parliament will represent a similar platform.

"I have no interest in the title, I want to be an MP to enact transformative change that generations of politicians have avoided making because they were more interested in protecting their careers than their planet and people."

Wijohn is the second 17-year-old selected as a party candidate for the upcoming election, after William Wood who will be contesting Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway's Palmerston North electorate for National. 

"The Green Party are the only ones with strong enough policy to pull us out of a climate emergency, out of poverty, and clean up our environment," Wijohn, who attended Western Springs College in Auckland, said. 

"The Green Party has achieved so much with only eight MPs but needs to have more influence after the election. I want to campaign for the party vote because I dream of the amount of change we can get with even more MPs."

Wijohn represented Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick as her Youth MP. Swarbrick, at 25, is currently New Zealand's youngest MP. 

If elected, Luke Wijohn and William Wood would become New Zealand's youngest-ever MPs, a title currently held by James Stuart-Wortley who was elected at the age of 20 in 1853.  

Wijohn said it is going to take "every generation working together" to fight issues he cares about such as climate change, inequality and protecting nature. 

"During the climate strikes adults would tell us that nothing is going to change until my generation was at the table, and we're running out of time." 

The Greens have also confirmed that Auckland Action Against Poverty campaigner Ricardo Menendez March will stand in the Auckland electorate of Maungakiekie - the seat Swarbrick stood for in 2017.  

Swarbrick will be standing in the Auckland Central electorate currently held by National MP Nikki Kaye, who has held it for three elections - even beating Jacinda Ardern in 2014.  

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson plans to run for the Auckland-based Māori electorate of Tāmaki Makaurau. She will be running against Labour MP Peeni Henare. 

The Green Party first entered Parliament in 1999, with former Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons winning the party's first and only electorate seat of Coromandel. 

There are eight Green MPs in Parliament at the moment: James Shaw, Marama Davidson, Eugenie Sage, Julie Anne Genter, Jan Logie, Golriz Ghahraman, Gareth Hughes and Chlöe Swarbrick. 

They are all list MPs meaning they do not hold an electorate seat. 

Gareth Hughes announced in November he plans to retire after the election.