In New Zealand it’s easy to get caught up with party politics and never really learn about the people standing in your own electorate. This election I’ve tried to give every candidate (in Auckland and Wellington) a voice by asking them 5 questions. Read more about the series here.


Incumbent: David Cunliffe // New Lynn

Standing in 2014:
David Cunliffe | Labour
Tim Groser | National
Andrew Leitch | Democratic
Daniel Rogers | Green
Steve Taylor | Conservative


What do you think characterises the New Lynn Electorate?

New Lynn is one of the best places in New Zealand to be because of the people and the natural environment.

The electorate stretches from the shores of the Manukau Harbour up through the beautiful primordial forest of the Waitakere Ranges.

We have a deep history too. For centuries iwi carried waka from the Waitemata over land that runs right through the electorate. The HMS Orpheus sank at Whatipu in 1863; with the loss of 189 lives it was New Zealand’s worst ever maritime disaster.

More than anything though, New Lynn is characterised by its wonderful people. West Aucklanders are hardworking, they look out for their neighbours, they’re proud of their patch with the trees in the hills – and they’re the sort to call a spade a spade, which keeps you grounded as the local MP.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the New Lynn Electorate?

Work, homes, family: There aren’t enough jobs around, and too much work is low paid and casual without guaranteed hours. The housing crisis in Auckland is horrific. Young families are being locked out of a home of their own, no matter how much they work. The faltering transport system in Auckland is taking away from family time too – although the comprehensive upgrade to the New Lynn train station by Council and the former Labour Government has made a difference in my patch. The state of broadband is a shocker in some parts.

Many New Zealanders are facing the same problems. Your heart just goes out to the people of Christchurch, still struggling with a lacklustre rebuild years after the quakes. Kickstarting the Canterbury recovery will be a major priority of my government.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

Sustainably growing the economy as part of our transition to the low carbon future.

There are billions and billions of dollars of opportunity in renewables and clean-tech, and New Zealand can be world leaders – while creating jobs for our people, and saving the planet too!

Ultimately, though, it’s going to take lots of different policies coordinated together to upgrade our economy, rather than a single pet project. We’ll increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the economically sensible thing to do as it keeps the consumption economy ticking over.

What will you do to improve the local New Lynn Community?

Labour’s KiwiBuild policy will build 100,000 affordable starter homes in 10 years.

For those who still can’t get into a home of their own, our rental guarantee will ensure that all rental properties are warm and dry. Every Kiwi family deserves a warm, dry home.

Labour’s Connectivity Upgrade will help local communities to get better broadband where it’s needed.

Why should I vote for you?

Only Labour has the record for standing up for what makes us unique and special as Kiwis. Labour made New Zealand nuclear free, and with Labour we’ll always be nuclear free. Labour protected the Waitakere Ranges for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. In both of those cases, and in so many more, our opponents fought us every step of the way, but we stood up for Kiwis. We always stand up for Kiwis.

Ultimately, though, in this election we’re asking people to consider why it is that New Zealand is the best place in the world to live – but it’s not the best place to make a living.

The Labour Party stands for work, home and families, and we have a positive vision and carefully costed policies for how we can pay down the enormous debt National has racked up, and back communities to improve this country for the people who live here.

So please find out more about us at and vote positive #forabetterNZ with two ticks for Labour on 20 September.

ANDREW LALeitch Profile

What do you think characterises the New Lynn Electorate?

A range of different people live in the New Lynn Electorate with varying age, ethnicity and wealth. This area has been a popular part of Auckland suburbia for years. Now, as we see Auckland continue to grow, these areas of Avondale, Blockhouse Bay, Green Bay, New Lynn, New Windsor and Titirangi will become an increasingly crucial part of the city. The motorway link will transform accessibility to the area, becoming closer to the Airport than the CBD. This is an exciting time for our Electorate.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the New Lynn Electorate?

Our government pays $12 million every-single-day out of your taxes in interest. Our councils pay $1.4 million every-single-day out of your rates in interest.

Instead of sending your hard earned dollars to overseas banks for their profit we could borrow money from our publicly owned Reserve Bank at 0% interest. With these savings the Government would be able to… grant 12 community organisations $1 million a day, or fund 600 new hip replacements a day, keep this up for 2 weeks and our waiting list would be reduced to zero. Can you think of 12 schools that could use an extra $1 million? Just think how much good could be done for our people and for you.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

Remove GST so our hard workers(that’s you) get a 15% discount on every product and service you use. But then how would the Government pay for roads, schools, hospitals and those glorious community grants I spoke about above? By introducing a financial transaction tax. Yes you would have to pay this on the transactions you make, but it would only need to be 0.1% which is an enormous amount less than current GST. The extra 14.9% and more will come from the people and corporations who currently make pure profits off trading currency. The NZ Dollar is the 9th most traded currency in the world, and all of these thousands of transactions are not taxed. Take 0.1% from those and it will keep our country running nicely while keeping more of your money in your pocket.

What will you do to improve the local New Lynn Community?

This is a time to support local business and encourage the innovation of new businesses to create new demand in our area. With the aim of improving the wealth, health and recreation for our residents I will concentrate on the reduction of debt. Which I will be able to concentrate on, without the distraction others may have, like leading a party.

What do YOU see as being important in our community? If I am to be your representative I need to know your thoughts. Please directly tell me more on

Why should I vote for you? 

I come from an Aviation background, which is a fast paced high stakes industry. I pride myself on being adaptable, get restless when comfortable and rarely show stress. I wouldn’t consider myself a politician, I’m simply a citizen inspired to help the country prosper, and as part of a team of visionary New Zealanders, the ‘Democrats for Social Credit’ this can be possible.

Vote this election for your individual influence, not for a flashy advertising campaign nor scandal campaign. The more parties and points of view we have represented, the more likely this country will represent YOU.

The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Auckland Central and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at and I will slip you in. 


About madicattt

Curator of The Things That Are Good. Sharing the things that stand out in the worlds of theatre, food, beauty and style.
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