Good show in Maungakiekie
This is the last in our series looking at issues facing voters on election day this Saturday. Heather McCracken hits the streets and talks to voters in the Maungakiekie electorate.
PLANS to restore the Onehunga foreshore and build a new railway station are among issues on voters’ minds in the Maungakiekie electorate.
Voters say a community-led plan to create a waterfront reserve and sandy beaches will be a key local issue on November 8.
“The foreshore’s a big one,” says Joan Metge.
“Also opening the railway line and getting a local station.”
Sarah McEwen says Onehunga needs a new railway station and better public transport.
“It takes two hours to get to Manukau on the bus,” she says.
The economy, health and education were also concerns for voters.
The Maungakiekie electorate encompasses southeastern Auckland city, from Greenlane to the Manukau Harbour.
Boundary changes since the last election have seen the electorate also gain parts of Onehunga, Royal Oak and Panmure.
It’s been a Labour stronghold since 1999, when MP Mark Gosche took the seat from National’s Belinda Vernon.
Mr Gosche held a 6000 vote majority in 2005, while Labour also took more than half the party vote.
The four-term MP is standing down from Parliament this year to spend more time with family.
Union secretary Carol Beaumont is contesting the seat for Labour, while Auckland city councillor Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is standing for National.
Both candidates have a chance of taking a list seat in Parliament if they fail to win the electorate.
Most voters who spoke to the Central Leader were undecided about who to give their vote to.
Those who had made up their minds were evenly split between Labour and National. But many were picking Mr Lotu-Iiga to make a strong showing in his first parliamentary race.
“Sam Lotu-Iiga is pretty well known and I think he’ll do well,” says Jim Castle.
“I don’t know if I’ll vote for him but he’s been working pretty hard for it,” he says.
Hamish Patel says he doesn’t know how he’ll vote, but thinks there’s a mood for a change.
“If you let one bunch of people run it for too long, they’ll twist the knob one way too far.”
Maungakiekie has among the highest proportions of Pacific people in the country, and a high number of voters who were born overseas. Households generally have a lower income than the New Zealand average, and are less likely to own their own homes.
Jim Anderton’s Progressive: Matt Robson, list ranking 2.
NZ First: Asenati Lole-Taylor, list ranking 7.
ACT: Athol ranking 45.
Kiwi Party: Bernie Ogilvy, list ranking 6.
NZ Pacific Party: Darren Jones, list ranking 5.
Communist League: Patrick Brown. No party list.
Labour: Carol Beaumont, list ranking 28.
Residents Action Movement: Elliott Blade, list ranking 4.
Green Party: Rawiri Paratene, list ranking 46.
National: Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, list ranking 35.
United Future: Denise Krum, list ranking 3.