A lifetime spent in the outdoors and Marlborough's pristine environment led to Steffan's passion for organic, safe and healthy food.
While living on the side of Aorere (Mount Stokes), Steffan watched aquaculture begin to take over every square inch of the Marlborough Sounds. So began his campaign to save the Marlborough Sounds from exploitation.
He worked tirelessly to save the Sounds while building a flourishing organics business, educating others in organics and growing the sector as a whole. Steffan has been involved with the GE free movement, the Safe Food Campaign, Soil & Health Association of New Zealand, Pesticide Action Network and many other groups that fight for our environment.
He won a number of awards for his efforts, including the John Manhire Award for Outstanding Contribution in 2008, one of the sector's highest honours.
The shift to national politics came when he saw how central government was helping large corporations exploit the natural preserve of the Sounds. In 1992 Steffan the Green, and eventually entered parliament on the Green Party list in 2011.
In Parliament Steffan continues to promote good agriculture and food safety. He has scrutinised the Food Bill, making sure it kept to its spirit of introducing much-needed safeguards and better food information. He has led calls to label GE food. He is also the voice of reason in the House when security and intelligence matters are on the agenda.
Steffan believes that our 100% Pure brand is not just good marketing; it should be a legitimate goal. Taking it on as an overlaying principle for all legislation in a formalised way will ensure that New Zealand remains an international leader in green growth, both in perception and reality. He wants New Zealand to join most other progressive countries in having reasonable organics production targets.
"I have a commitment to the Green Party values of ecology-based sustainability and social justice"