Housing, poverty concerns
The majority of candidates standing in Helensville agree housing and poverty are big issues for the electorate.
However, when it came to the solutions, the candidates were split.
Suggestions included raising the minimum wage, banning foreign buyers and removing Auckland from the Resource Management Act.
ACT Party candidate Alex Evans said housing was the biggest issue it faced – and it had stemmed from poverty.
He said the party would build more houses by removing big cities from the Resource Management Act and creating a tailored Urban Development legislation.
Brendan Whyte of the Conservative Party said the electorate definitely had a housing problem.
Whyte said to fix the housing issue, the party wanted to reduce immigration levels, prohibit foreigners from owning residential land and discourage landbankers.
Labour’s candidate Kurt Taogaga said Helensville was fortunate that it wasn’t suffering from poverty as much as other Auckland electorates – but it didn’t mean people weren’t struggling.
He said his party would build 50,000 affordable homes throughout Auckland to help people into the property market.
National Party candidate Chris Penk said the diversity in the electorate meant there was naturally a varying level of housing affordability and economic circumstances.
To help people living in poverty, Penk said the most important thing was to ensure that the economy continued to grow.
Green party candidate Hayley Holt said the rising cost of housing was one of the main drivers of poverty.
Holt said her party would put in place a rent-tobuy scheme and raise the minimum wage.
While NZ First’s Helen Peterson said she had seen an unprecedented number of houses being built in the electorate, sales had slowed.
She said more affordable houses needed to be put in place as towns such as Helensville and Parakai had high levels of poverty.
The Special Housing Area at 155 Rautawhiri Rd, Helensville.