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Battle for Mt Roskill about to begin

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/10/2016

Mt Roskill has been held by Labour since it was created in 1999 and a government has never won a seat off an opposition party in a by-election in New Zealand. © Fiona Goodall/Getty Images Mt Roskill has been held by Labour since it was created in 1999 and a government has never won a seat off an opposition party in a by-election in New Zealand. The process of the by-election triggered by the election of Phil Goff as Auckland's mayor should get under way this week.

Both Labour and National put out statements during the weekend signalling it'll be a fight.

Mr Goff has said he would resign from parliament if he became mayor.

"I understand Mr Goff intends to resign on Tuesday or Wednesday" says National Party President Peter Goodfellow.

Labour have already selected Michael Wood as their candidate and the Greens have said they won't contest the by-election.

National will select its candidate by October 19, likely to be local list MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar.

The People's Party, an emerging party harnessing the frustration of migrant communities, will also be in the mix.

Mt Roskill has been held by Labour since it was created in 1999 and a government has never won a seat off an opposition party in a by-election in New Zealand.

But it's expected to be a battle because the cost of housing is a hot issue in Auckland and the electorate is an interesting mix with 39 per cent of its population identifying as Asian.

Mr Goodfellow said it would be very difficult for National to win the by-election.

"And of course Labour and the Greens have done a deal for the seat to try and make it even less likely," he says.

"We will however run a strong campaign."

The departing Mr Goff was a Mt Roskill boy. He was raised in Three Kings, went to local schools, and was first elected as our local MP in 1981.

Mr Wood said it has spent the past six years on the Local Board.

"With Phil's election to the mayoralty, a by-election in Mt Roskill will be confirmed shortly.

"I have been campaigning across the electorate since June, and will now be working full-time to win the seat. With the support of local voters I will be a strong voice for our community," says Mr Wood.

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