From the rhetoric at Labour candidate Michael Wood’s street corner meetings you might think that Phil Goff was still actually standing for Mt Roskill.
Wood invokes Goff’s name frequently as he stops off at corner after corner in the state house heartland of the electorate which will go to the polls this weekend.
He goes as far as to say that everything he learned about politics he learned from Goff.
Even the van that accompanies him on his trek is the same one that Goff used when he was the MP.
And he says that people want a continuation of the kind of strong representation that Goff gave the electorate over the 35 years he was in Parliament (except for 1990 – 93 when National held the seat).
As to policy issues, he says housing is number one.
“Virtually every person wants to talk about housing, whether its ownership or rental or social housing issues,” he told POLITIK.
“Transport problems are just unavoidable in Mt Roskill and then, and this issue has really up, is crime and law and order.”
Mt Roskill is a state house suburb; 37% of the houses in the electorate are rented, most off Housing New Zealand.
A quick drive-past down Housing New Zealand streets, reveals houses which show few signs of any recent maintenance. Most are occupied by immigrants. 40% of the electorate are classified as Asian; either Chinese or Indian. 60% of the electorate’s school children are non-European and non-Maori.
Yet perhaps paradoxically, unemployment is low at 4.3% and most of the electorate have white collar jobs, albeit many as sales or administrative assistants.
But the picture is one of the immigrants who have arrived with limited resources but who have begun the upward climb in New Zealand society. Read more »