Labour, Greens eye by-election deal

Labour leader Andrew Little and Green Party co-Leader Metiria Turei (Newshub. / file)
Labour leader Andrew Little and Green Party co-Leader Metiria Turei (Newshub. / file)

A deal is likely to be on the cards in Mt Roskill between the Labour Party and the Green Party if a by-election takes place later this year.

The move would be the first major power-play from the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two parties earlier in 2016, in a move to create a more strategic working relationship.

Labour leader Andrew Little says he "wouldn't rule it out" and said electorate deals had been flagged as part of strategy discussions with the Greens heading into next year's general election.

"If there is a by-election there's a huge amount of much more intense scrutiny of it so we've got to be up with that," he says.

A deal in Mt Roskill could mean the Green Party would not stand a candidate in the seat, instead urging its supporters to back Labour.

Green Party co-Leader Metiria Turei says she's open to the idea.

"The point of the MOU we have with Labour is to form the space to have these kinds of conversations about the best electoral success for both Labour and the Greens," she says.

"We do very well in that electorate when we stand for the party vote and we have a really strong team in Mt Roskill... so we know that we are strong there.

"Whether that makes a difference for their campaign, I couldn't tell you."

Despite Phil Goff having held a strong majority in the Mt Roskill seat for many years, National has a strong party vote in the electorate.

National is standing current List MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar to contest any possible by-election.

The recent establishment of an Indian political party, called The New Zealand People's Party, could also suck up some of the votes in the electorate.

Mr Little says Labour will not be taking the seat for granted and intends to go hard in campaigning.

"We've got a great candidate there in Michael Wood and he's got a lot of support now, he's running a great campaign so far, but it's just the hard yarns of a campaign."

A by-election will be called if Mr Goff wins the race for the Auckland mayoralty.