Mt Roskill by-election: Let’s get ready to stumble



Now Phil Goff has won the inevitable win that he was always going to win, the focus comes to the Mt Roskill by-election.

This is the most important political event next to the last remaining budget and the 2017 election because of what its results could do to Labour’s chances of winning Government next year.

If Labour lose and National win what should be a safe Labour seat, it could lead to a stampede from Labour to NZ First, that’s why the decision by the Greens to not contest the race was crucial and evidence they are taking the MoU seriously.

If National lose the by-election  it could  be followed up by  any of the major political polls reflecting the Roy Morgan prediction that a combined Labour/Green vote overtakes National. That kind of two punch blow plus the inevitable hostilities about to explode between the Michelle Boag faction and Slater/Lusk faction for the Auckland Mayoralty fiasco could see a Summer of sharpening knives around National Party BBQs.

So this by-election matters a lot more than normal as the result will shape the narrative in the run up to the 2017 election.

Is there really discontent in an electorate as diverse as Mt Roskill? How is the housing crisis hurting? How is the local schools coping? How has the Migrant Visa scam impacted locals? Has the surge in crime, especially violent crime in local businesses created fear and anger?

All of these issues feed into national political narratives, this is a debate the country will be hungry to have and an electorate able to send a message.

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Mt Roskill Party votes National but loves Phil Goff. So who are the actors and where do they stand?

Labour: The very affable and intelligent Michael Wood is Labour’s candidate. He is seen as a rising star within Labour, has worked bloody hard and deserves the shot. He is an excellent debater, knows the issues backwards and a decent chap. Local roots, deep ties within the community, has the advantage that Goff will most likely be shadowing him and now as the Mayor has a very open door to one of Auckland’s most powerful leaders. In an electorate as aspirational as Mt Roskill, that type of connection matters.

Matt McCarton should be using this by-election as a prime chance to organise the mighty Auckland Labour muscle into the electorate fresh off the back of City Vision wins in Auckland. That’s a lot of people that can be forged and built for next years election.

Labour have a lot to lose and a lot to prove in this by-election.


National: They haven’t selected their candidate yet. The local list MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar is well respected and trying to take the candidacy off her would be pretty dramatic, but the opportunity to really puncture Labour is too great. National have bugger all to lose here, no Government has won a by-election while sitting so if hey could pull it off, it would be a huge political victory. Problem is that if they try and parachute in a celebrity candidate it will anger Parmjeet Parmar.


People’s Party: Roshan Nauhria has harnessed the frustration of migrant communities and built a political machine around it. He’s no slouch, and as someone who has approached many of the other Party’s with an interest to have those interests represented he’s serious about gaining real representation. Not to be under estimated.


Greens: Can help by directing activists into the electorate. This will be an important bonding session and chance to test out teams before the general election.


NZ First: The smart money here would be that NZ First don’t stand a candidate. With revelations after he’d criticised the People’s Party, it turned out Winston had taken a donation from them. Winston doesn’t need that reminded every day of the campaign and the ability to stand on toes in the heat of a battle which might cost Labour a victory would be dumb politics this close to a general election.


  • Expect crime to be a major theme. Michael Wood could really dominate this part of the debate if he makes a strong and angry case that the break down of law and order is a direct result of National dropping the ball on poverty, that longer tougher sentences won’t change things, only better investment into our crumbling social infrastructure and better education.
  • Housing will be an issues. Labour’s first time home buyer Kiwibuilder and $60 a week baby payment will find a strong audience.
  • Education matters to an electorate as diverse as Mt Roskill so it’s an opportunity for Wood to drive home the need for support of public schools.
  • Immigration is an issue. The strong stand Labour has taken with Migrant Students should match up with the community concerns.


  1. Well thought out Martyn,

    Guess Mt Roskill will need some parachuted in some “temporary family homes (cars/vans)” around bi-election time eh to remind the voters of the ugly side of this criminal enterprise known as “the Nactional Party”?

    • no need we have homeless sleeping in the local parks there beggers around the town centers we see exactly what the key government has done i expect national will choose parmjeet Piranha and i will not be voting for that arrogant cow in fact i hope the tory bitch knocks on my door i can guarantee the pitch fork will be ready

  2. Maybe it is simpler than you suggest, just get Phil on the bus and tour around as new mayor, doing the “great talk” as on TV this morning, and do an Obama for Wood, same as the US president is doing for Hillary. The charm offensive is all that is needed, with the shallow mentality of most out there these days.

    Paste lots of smiling Wood faces next to Phil’s, make clear Mt Roskill is at the “heart of Auckland”, and only by jointly acting with Auckland Council and its new mayor can Mt Roskill flourish and do well within the nation.

    Baby kisses, ECE visits, Kindy visits, school visits, letter drops, again Phil putting a pat on Woods’ shoulder, that will be enough, I think. Who knows Parmjeet Parma Cheese? Only the small business owners know her, as that is the ones she likes to help.

  3. Martyn, you have forgotten ACT again, but I expect no less from an anti-democratic blog like The Daily Blog.

    Certainly 20% business, 20% personal and 20% GST tax policy will appeal to a broad spectrum of Mt Roskill voters, from business to conservatives, to disenchanted Labour, Green and NZ First voters.

    Certainly ACT’s desire for open border immigration can only benefit Mt Roskill. By allowing open immigration, home owners and investors will benefit from rising house prices in Mt Roskill, which is great for the economy and a testament to a stable coalition between ACT, United Future, Maori Party and National.

    Party vote for ACT will also send a clear message to help the electorate that a vote for ACT, is a vote for a fairer, greener more competitive New Zealand.

      • ACT will hold the key to power in 2017 in coalition with whoever wins the election. People who want a fairer New Zealand, freed-up immigration and a progressive tax system may be a small percentage, but minority ACT helps give them a voice at the seat of power.

        A favourite quote of mine from the handbook of democracy Orwell’s 1984 is:

        Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.

        ACT can make a big difference in New Zealand, that’s why people should party vote ACT.

          • I really feel sorry for David see more as he does seem to show a human spirit, with his yearn to be needed.

            That is a human trait for sure, as we mortally wounded feel this all so well at the hands of a coalition partner ACT with the hideously criminal National so David I have added you into the mention in my first post when I said Nactional, but if come over to the human side I will refrain from putting up Nactional again, so we will see.

          • ACT does not believe in the monarchy Frank, so your attempt to give them a royal title is wasted, just as taxpayer money spent on the monarchy is against ACT principles and beliefs.

            ACT do look up to the monarchy as extraordinary people who have flourished under a democratic system and who have used their business acumen to allow money, and influence to trickle down to those less fortunate than themselves.

            ACT does not fawn or bow to anyone, (unlike the PM Mr Key) because ACT believes that everyone should succeed or fail on their own merits. You won’t see the voters of Epsom bow or scrape their abdomens on the ground for anyone.

            • ACT supporters do believe in infinite growth on a finite planet, endless fossil fuel supplies, an endless capacity of the environment to absorb pollution, and other similar fantasies though, don’t they?

              ‘You won’t see the voters of Epsom bow or scrape their abdomens on the ground for anyone.’ Except to scrape their abdomens on the ground for the international money-lenders, of course.

            • ACT may not believe in monarchy, but they certainly believe in God and their god’s name is Roger Douglas.

        • You are confusing your fart wind with rocket propelled combustion power, I fear, ACT will make a huge difference as it will no longer be available as partner for losing Nats, or shall I say, the one seat your party will get, that will not be enough next time. Keep your lighter away from that gas, you may get burnt, you know the properties of excessive methane, I hope.

    • “By allowing open immigration, home owners and investors will benefit from rising house prices in Mt Roskill, which is great for the economy and a testament to a stable coalition between ACT, United Future, Maori Party and National.”

      Hahaha, a bubble economy, of course, that is what David See (No) More offers as a recipe for growth. You won’t see the cliff that we are heading for, even when the drop will happen, you will see nothing, David See (NO!!) More.

    • “a vote for ACT, is a vote for a fairer, greener more competitive New Zealand.”
      Pure comedic genius.

    • roger douglas, traitor and liar begat ACT. That dirty, old man has destroyed NZ. ACT is a shell of a thing filled with traitors. How in the Hell could even the most devout masochist pretend to try to sell ACT in a positive light.
      And if this is a piss-take ? Then some things are just not funny.
      @ David See-More ? You really are quite the nut.

  4. ‘In Auckland, just 36.5 per cent voted where Phil Goff was elected new mayor…’

    Surely this reflects the near total lack of faith in local government, and the utter disillusionment of a large portion of the populace with politics as practiced in NZ, as indicated in the survey carried out earlier this year which generated these results:

    9. Local government – 12 per cent (down 37 per cent)
    10. Corporations and large businesses – 11 per cent (down 37 per cent)
    11. Government ministers – 10 per cent (down 49 per cent)
    12. TV and print media – 8 per cent (down 40 per cent)
    13. Members of parliament – 8 per cent (down 54 per cent)

    • Hollow victory for sure so no- one that wins with the total vote of only under 40% of the eligible voters.

      It was a protest vote that voters showed distain for the candidates that they refused to take part of it at all.

    • Some “commentators” say, oh, they may be so satisfied with the situation in Auckland, they see no need to vote. I wonder how that should work, relying on the right candidate, by not voting, thus allowing a great risk for an outsider to perhaps win and surprise all.

      Those commentators on TV on The Nation and TVNZ’s Q+A, I think they do somehow live in lalaland, that is at least some of them.

  5. Good article, though I question whether we ought to define Mt. Roskill a ‘safe’ Labour seat these days – it would be best for them to operate on the assumption that it’s quite loseable to ensure that nothing is taken for granted.

  6. Who’s Matt McCarton Bomber? Never heard of him? Or do you mean Mattachiavelli?

    Seemore. Go see your sista-mama-aunty’s cousin, Jamie Whyte to get a “steer” on what to do in 2017 because I think the Nat’s are going to need the Epsom seat back? No cuppa tea for you this time around I reckon …

  7. Labour is likely to win, I believe, but by how much will depend largely on whether National’s candidate Parmar is allowed by her party to campaign as an individual. National mostly use her in a cheerleader/patsy question role so you can anticipate National’s campaign will see Key, Bridges, Joyce, English, Collins and the rest of the National spinmeister brigade slithering around getting in Parmar’s way. Just like Melissa Lee.
    National list backbenchers are basically just minority culture cannon fodder. National’s campaign will be about how great Uncle John is, as always.

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