Michael Wood –
As Mt Roskill voters head to the polls this coming weekend, I want to thank all residents who have taken the time to engage in the by-election campaign.
We are fortunate to live in a democratic country in which people can freely choose their political leaders, and during the campaign I have enjoyed meeting thousands of Mt Roskill voters who have told me about their concerns, their hopes, and their love for our local community.
Since 1981, we have been ably served by Phil Goff.
There are few MPs in New Zealand who have been as loved and respected by their local community and I’m proud to have his personal support.
While I am a different person, I commit to being accessible and approachable in the community in the same way as Phil has been for so many years.
Phil was also an effective MP because he consistently spoke on the issues that matter to people in the community. In this by-election, residents have been extremely clear about the issues that they expect action on the following.
Spiralling house prices
The housing crisis is a snowballing social and economic disaster.
I am one of the lucky ones who bought a first home back in 2002 when a young couple could buy a basic home in Roskill South for under $300,000. Now the average house price in Mt Roskill is $1 million! This is locking a whole generation of young people out of the dream of home ownership.
Rising rents affect many others, and the downstream effect are families living in garages, cars, and the floors of relatives.
I see it every day while door-knocking around the electorate.
It is wrong and Labour will act by rolling up our sleeves and building 10,000 affordable houses per year, and cracking down on speculation.
It’s no surprise that the Indian community has highlighted rising crime as a major issue. New police data hot off the press shows that in the 12 months to October 2016, 36% of robbery victims in Auckland with an identified ethnicity were Indian, an increase of 16% on 2015.
This increase in crime is unacceptable and we must take urgent action to ensure that people feel safe in their homes, on the streets, and in their businesses.
Police resources have been run down under the National government.
With police numbers not keeping up with Auckland’s population growth, it is not surprising that 95% of burglaries go unsolved.
I am campaigning in support of Labour’s policy of 1000 new frontline police officers to deter and solve crime.
Locally, I will also push to reopen the Mt Roskill police station to the public, so that we can restore the link between the community and our hard-working local police.
Everyone in Auckland knows that we need major action and investment to fix our transport problems. Today’s transport mess is a result of past governments lacking the vision and leadership to invest in high quality public transport infrastructure. Here in Roskill our major arterial roads are constantly choked, and while many of us use the bus system (I am a regular on the 267 and 277 routes), these services are bursting at the seams.
That is why I am championing a plan for modern light rail down Dominion Road.
We can make small improvements in the short term, but we need long term vision and investment if we truly want to create a community that is easy to move around. Modern light rail will transform our town centres into thriving hubs, and move thousands of people quickly, reliably, and cleanly. It will take time to implement, but I intend to see it through.
I have enjoyed the Mt Roskill campaign and the opportunity to meet so many people in our wonderful community. We have run an old-fashioned campaign focussed on meeting as many people ‘face to face’ as possible, and just like Phil Goff I will be campaigning until the last possible moment. Despite frequent personal attacks made by my opponent, we have continued to run a positive campaign focussed on the issues and forward looking policies.
Over the past six years, I have served on the Puketapapa Local Board, upgrading many local parks and reserves, and really getting to know our Mt Roskill community.
Now I am ready to pick up the baton from Phil Goff and serve as your new Member of Parliament for Mt Roskill.
If you do me the honour of electing me on Saturday December 3, I will work every single day to repay that trust.
- Michael Wood with Priyanca Radhakrishnan at Highland Games
- Michael Wood speaks loud for Mt Roskill
- Michael Wood at a retail shop in Mt Roskill