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Straight two-way fight in Mt Roskill

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/10/2016
Phil Goff © Getty Images Phil Goff

National and Labour will be the only parliamentary parties fighting the Mt Roskill by-election on December 3. The Greens previously announced they wouldn't put up a candidate, and ACT has now confirmed it won't be there either.

The recently-formed People's Party will field a candidate - it's co-founder Rohan Nauhria.

The by-election has been called because Labour's Phil Goff, who has held the seat since 1981, is resigning from parliament.

He won the Auckland mayoralty in a landslide on Saturday.

Mr Goff retained the seat in 2014 with a majority of more than 8000 votes, but National won more party votes than Labour - 14,275 to 12,086.

Labour has chosen its candidate, Michael Wood, and party leader Andrew Little says despite the government never having taken a seat off the opposition in a by-election, he isn't taking anything for granted.

"We will be working our backsides off for every vote we can get," he told RNZ.

"We will campaign on housing, transport in Auckland, law and order and access to health care - crucial issues we've been working on all year."

Prime Minister John Key says it's going to be tough for National, particularly with the Greens not standing.

"We'll give it a good go," he said, tipping local list MP Parmjeet Parmar as National's still-to-be-chosen candidate.

The Greens and ACT are standing aside for the same reason - they don't want to get in the way of the party they want to win.

Labour will gain from the Greens' absence.

In 2014 the Greens' Barry Coates won 1682 votes, and most of them can be expected to go to Labour.

ACT didn't stand, and won only 610 party votes.

Party leader David Seymour says he hasn't had any discussions with National about the by-election but doesn't want to do anything to spoil its chances.

The new People's Party will be looking for ethnic minority votes and has said it will campaign on law and order.

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