Mt Al­bert set to vote

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

This week the Auck­land City Har­bour News be­gins a three-part se­ries looking at the big is­sues fac­ing vot­ers this elec­tion day, Novem­ber 8. We hit the streets to find out what you, our read­ers, think are the ma­jor is­sues candidates should be fo­cus­ing on.

This week we talk to Mt Al­bert con­stituents and in the com­ing weeks will speak to vot­ers in Auck­land Cen­tral. We’ll also give you an over­view of the Maori seat, Ta­maki Makau­rau. TAX CUTS and the state of the econ­omy are hot top­ics with vot­ers in Prime Min­is­ter He­len Clark’s Mt Al­bert elec­torate.

Greg Austin is con­cerned about pos­si­ble changes to the Ki­wiSaver scheme if there is a change of gov­ern­ment.

“With tak­ing money out of Ki­wiSaver, low in­come peo­ple have to take the brunt of it and high in­come peo­ple are bet­ter off,” the 53-yearold says.

As a mid­dle to lower in­come earner, Robyn Men­zel, 47, is also wor­ried about changes to Ki­wiSaver and how over­seas fi­nan­cial prob­lems will af­fect New Zealand.

And Kings­land uni­ver­sity stu­dent Car­men McMaster is adamant she doesn’t want a tax cut.

The 22-year-old would like to see ex­tra money put into a uni­ver­sal stu­dent al­lowance.

“My par­ents earn too much for me to qual­ify for an al­lowance, so if I could get even 100 bucks a week to pay my rent that would be fan­tas­tic.”

But 75-year-old Peter Ward is most con­cerned about law and or­der.

He says crime is a na­tion­wide prob­lem, al­though things aren’t too bad in Mt Al­bert. “I think, philo­soph­i­cally, we tend to al­ways look at the rea­son for crime and over­look the vic­tim,” he says. “There’s all this waf­fle about the econ­omy, but not much we can do about that,” he says.

“There is some­thing you can do about law and or­der.”

Moral and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns were other is­sues raised by res­i­dents spo­ken to by the Auck­land City Har­bour News.

Some vot­ers in­di­cated they haven’t thought about the is­sues that will in­flu­ence the way they vote be­cause they’ve only just en­rolled.

Miss Clark has held the seat, for­merly known as Owairaka, since 1981, and is cur­rently Par­lia­ment’s long­est serv­ing MP.

She won 66 per­cent of the elec­torate vote in the 2005 elec­tion, and most res­i­dents were con­fi­dent she would hold the seat for a 10th term.

Ravi Musuku was the next high­est polling can­di­date in 2005 with 19 per­cent of the vote. Mr Musuku is again con­test­ing Mt Al­bert for Na­tional, with a list rank­ing of 65. The prime min­is­ter is top of the Labour Party list.

Labour scored 54 per­cent of the party vote in 2005, fol­lowed by Na­tional on 26 per­cent.

The elec­torate has about 59,000 peo­ple within its bound­aries, with just un­der half iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves as Chris­tian ac­cord­ing to the 2006 cen­sus.

Euro­peans make up just over half of the elec­torate.

One-quar­ter of the res­i­dents are Asian, while Maori and Pa­cific com­mu­ni­ties are the other sig­nif­i­cant groups.

It has the low­est num­ber of peo­ple aged 50 to 64 in New Zealand, with around 12 per­cent in the age range.

Just over one-third of peo­ple in the elec­torate are mar­ried, while around half own their own home.

The sub­urb of Pt Che­va­lier is part of the elec­torate again, af­ter bound­ary changes since the 2005 elec­tion.

Act Party: Kath McCabe, list rank­ing 46.

Labour Party: He­len Clark, list rank­ing 1.

Green Party: Jon Cara­piet, not on list.

Na­tional Party: rank­ing 65.

Ravi

Musuku,

list

Kiwi Party: rank­ing 25.

Chris­tian

Daw­son,

list

Repub­lic Party of New Zealand: Dave Llewell, list rank­ing 3.

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