Labour’s Michael Wood has already tried to win in Pakuranga, Botany and Epsom, and told The Nation on Saturday morning that Mt Roskill will be his last stand.
“I’ll enter Parliament as the MP for Mt Roskill, or I won’t enter it at all.”
Mr Wood called his previous attempts at getting into Parliament his “apprenticeship”.
“Mt Roskill is my home and has been for the past 13 years. I’ve served in the community, been on the local board for the past six years.”
And Mt Roskill has been free of suggestive confectionery, so I don’t actually see why he is running this time.
The situation is flipped for his rival, Parmjeet Parmar. She’s already in Parliament – as a list MP – but doesn’t live in Mt Roskill.
She lives in Eastern Beach, part of the Maurice Williamson’s Pakuranga electorate in the city’s east, but has an office in Mt Roskill and says she’s no carpetbagger.
“Standing in this by-election is showing my commitment to Mt Roskill… My heart is with Mt Roskill.”
She’s promised not to stand anywhere else – though as a list MP, is already in Parliament.
Ms Parmar stood in Mt Roskill against Phil Goff in 2014, who defeated her comfortably. His election as Auckland Mayor is what’s triggered the December 3 by-election.
Ms Parmar says the biggest issues facing residents in Mt Roskill are “improving safety in our streets and homes, improving affordability of houses, small businesses”.
She wants to keep most housing in Mt Roskill affordable, which she defines as $650,000, by increasing “supply, supply and supply” through special housing areas.
“I don’t believe that regulating prices artificially works.”
Under Goff’s watch, Mt Roskill has turned into an ethnic soup heavily slanted towards immigrants with unusual sounding names. And Michael Wood is a proven failure who couldn’t even make it in white suburbs.
It will be fascinating to see how many truly tribal Labour voters in Mt Roskill are going to vote for this incompetent lightweight. Worse, if it remains a safe seat, Labour in parliament will have yet another man and a useless one at that.
This is all about getting Wood over the line. Mt Roskill isn’t really at the top of the list.