Michael Wood –
With less than three weeks until the Mt Roskill by-election, it is important for local voters to know that candidates seeking their support are totally committed to serving the local community.
That is why I am confirming that my total focus is on the Mt Roskill electorate and that win or lose I will not stand for election in any other electorate next year.
Mt Roskill is my home, the place I love.
I moved here with my wife Julie thirteen years ago.
We still live in the same house in Roskill South where we raise our three boys.
The older two attend our excellent local public school, where I serve on the Board of Trustees. Julie and I believe in public service, and that is why we started the Roskill Community Voice team which has successfully won majorities on the Puketapapa Local Board over recent local elections.
My time on the Local Board has taught me the value of connecting with the community at the grassroots.
Ultimately, in politics we are asking for the trust of voters.
What better way to win trust than by building a strong relationship at the community level, event by event, conversation by conversation, issue by issue?
As politicians, we do not have all the answers, but if we are connected to the grassroots community, there is much wisdom, upon which we can draw.
The bottom line is that you can only truly understand a community if you are part of it. Every day I drive on local roads, so I know how bad traffic congestion is, and the urgent need for investment in high quality public transport.
My children go to our local schools, so I know how important it is that we invest in education.
My friends and neighbours have been affected by rising crime, so I understand how concerned people are, and the need to invest more in local policing and community action to prevent crime from occurring.
Perhaps most importantly, my time as a local resident in Mt Roskill has shown me the importance of decent, affordable housing for everyone in our community.
I could settle here with my wife in 2003 because housing was affordable. Alongside our good public schools, one of the main reasons that many migrant communities have chosen to settle in Mt Roskill was that housing was affordable.
Yet now, the average house price is over $1 million in Mt Roskill, and rents are soaring. The government does nothing.
It is not right. I will not accept a situation in which decent hardworking people are being priced out of housing in our community.
Labour will invest in affordable housing and put the brakes on rampant speculation, which is doing so much to push prices ever higher.
I am very proud to succeed Phil Goff as the Labour candidate in Mt Roskill.
Phil is a friend and mentor, and it is an honour to have his personal support to be the next MP for Mt Roskill.
He has taught me the importance of working hard on the ground to win community support, and the need to have an open, friendly, and accessible approach.
Phil has built an extremely strong relationship with the local Indian community in Mt Roskill, and I am committed to continue working with you to make Mt Roskill the best place to live and raise our children together.
My total commitment is to Mt Roskill.
I am the only major candidate who lives in the electorate, with a track record of local service. I will not be seeking to run in any other electorate, and I respectfully ask for your vote at the Mt Roskill by-election so that I can continue serving our wonderful community.
Michael Wood is Labour Party’s candidate in the by-election at Mt Roskill on December 3, 2016.
Hemant Parikh interviews Labour Party Leader Andrew Little for Radio Tarana. Michael Wood in the centre.