Kaye poised for close contest
National’s Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye describes herself as a compassionate person.
The 37-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year, but has now recovered her health and learned from the ‘‘terrible’’ experience.
‘‘When you stare death down, everything comes into focus. I’m a better minister and a better MP - I’m more focussed on delivering because I don’t think there will always be a tomorrow. I was a compassionate person before, but I’m more compassionate now because I have a high antenna for the pain of other people,’’ Kaye said.
She is pleased the government is providing more funding for housing and support for homeless people.
‘‘There have always been rough sleepers in central Auckland, but the housing situation has meant there has been absolute pressure and more people have been rough sleepers since I first became an MP. It’s something for which we have to do more.’’
The National government’s creation of the Supercity in 2010 has allowed an Auckland Unitary Plan to be developed that enables hundreds of thousands more houses to be built, she said.
‘‘We’ve priced out a generation of housing, because we haven’t had the space to go either out or up. I’ve been doing a huge amount locally to try to address the situation.’’
Immigration needs to continue to provide enough workers for the construction industry to build affordable housing, Kaye said. Reforms of the Resource Management Act are also needed to stop ’’unwieldy resource consent processes’’ and allow housing to be built quickly.
She supports the government’s plans for a recreational fishing park in the Hauraki Gulf, and is ‘‘not opposed’’ to proposals for marine reserves around Waiheke.
Kaye does not support Our Waiheke’s attempt to break away from Auckland Council, because of concerns about the financial viability of a Waiheke council.
As Minister of Education and Minister for Youth, she is proud to see a $40 million redevelopment about to begin at Waiheke High School and Te Huruhi Primary.
Kaye has a Bachelor of Science in genetics and a law degree from Otago University and has worked in policy and project management.
She was the first National MP to win the traditionally left-wing Auckland Central electorate in 2008. ‘‘It’s always a tough fight.’’
Kaye lives in Ponsonby and enjoys sports, walking, fishing, camping and reading biographies.