Mt Roskill is the suburb in which I was born and brought up and have been proud to represent in Parliament for around 30 years.
Over my lifetime, it has changed considerably.
Today it is New Zealand’s most multicultural electorate, with a large Indian, Chinese and Pasifika population along with new migrants from Africa, the Middle East and more than 100 ethnicities from all over the world.
Housing density has intensified, with higher property prices reflecting its proximity to the City.
Infill development includes new retail outlets with a vibrant shopping centre developed over recent years in Lynfield and a newly developed retail centre on Stoddard Road.
Major supermarket chains such as New World, Countdown and The Warehouse have opened alongside boutique shops, coffee bars and food stores in Mt Roskill.
Ethnic restaurants thrive along Dominion Road and across the electorate, offering residents a wide choice of dining.
It is a long way from my childhood when Mt Roskill was largely mono-cultural and eating out was a choice of fish and chips or chop suey and chow mein.
Alongside change however has also been continuity.
Mt Roskill has always been a good place to live.
It has welcomed generations of new migrants and thousands of new New Zealanders have started their lives in our community here.
It has great schools, including secondary schools like Lynfield College and Mt Roskill Grammar, which have a reputation for providing high quality learning.
Children, whose families come from all over the world, grow up as young Kiwis accepting and enjoying their multicultural environment.
There are good services, vibrant sports clubs and large green spaces including parks, golf courses and the foreshore of the Manukau Harbour.
And the Holy City of Mt Roskill is well endowed with Churches, together with a Mosque on Stoddard Road and a Hindu Temple on Balmoral Road.
A new addition to the cultural facilities in Mt Roskill is the Wallace Arts Centre at the restored Pah Homestead on Hillsborough Road. The building and the park attached to it are among the most beautiful and well kept secrets in Auckland.
What I really like about Mt Roskill is that while it is a good place to live it is unpretentious and friendly.
It’s made up of many communities – Wesley, White Swan, Three Kings, Hillsborough, Lynfield and New Windsor with varying levels of wealth and income. People live alongside each other, meet at school Churches and sports clubs and generally get on well together.
We are working with the new Puketapapa Board, chaired by Julie Fairey, to make Mt Roskill an even better place to live. Hillsborough and Onehunga Bays are being upgraded with a new park and beaches.
Native trees are being planted in reserves and we are campaigning to underground the unsightly transmission pylons.
Mt Roskill will continue to grow and to be a gateway community where new residents have their first experience of life in New Zealand.
Phil Goff is Member of Parliament elected from Mt Roskill, a constituency that he has represented since 1981 (except for three years from 1996 when he was elected from New Lynn). He has held several ministerial portfolios from 1999 to 2008 under the Labour Government.