For both Labour and National candidates, it's Mt Roskill or bust

Michael Wood and Parmjeet Parmar
Michael Wood and Parmjeet Parmar

Both the major party candidates contesting the Mt Roskill by-election say if they don't win, they won't try anywhere else.

Labour's Michael Wood has already tried to win in Pakuranga, Botany and Epsom, and told The Nation on Saturday morning that Mt Roskill will be his last stand.

"I'll enter Parliament as the MP for Mt Roskill, or I won't enter it at all."

Mr Wood called his previous attempts at getting into Parliament his "apprenticeship".

"Mt Roskill is my home and has been for the past 13 years. I've served in the community, been on the local board for the past six years."

The situation is flipped for his rival, Parmjeet Parmar. She's already in Parliament - as a list MP - but doesn't live in Mt Roskill.

She lives in Eastern Beach, part of the Maurice Williamson's Pakuranga electorate in the city's east, but has an office in Mt Roskill and says she's no carpetbagger.

"Standing in this by-election is showing my commitment to Mt Roskill... My heart is with Mt Roskill."

She's promised not to stand anywhere else - though as a list MP, is already in Parliament.

For both Labour and National candidates, it's Mt Roskill or bust

Parmjeet Parmar on The Nation

Ms Parmar stood in Mt Roskill against Phil Goff in 2014, who defeated her comfortably. His election as Auckland Mayor is what's triggered the December 3 by-election.

Ms Parmar says the biggest issues facing residents in Mt Roskill are "improving safety in our streets and homes, improving affordability of houses, small businesses".

She wants to keep most housing in Mt Roskill affordable, which she defines as $650,000, by increasing "supply, supply and supply" through special housing areas.

"I don't believe that regulating prices artificially works."

While Mr Wood says it's time to step in and make sure house prices in the suburb don't escalate beyond what most residents can afford.

"Mt Roskill has historically been the place on the Auckland isthmus where people can get a start in life - that is gone in terms of housing at the moment.

"I can take you to special housing areas... that have been flipped for a profit. There are a few houses coming through that pipeline, that's fine, but it's laughable to say it's enough to deal with the crisis that we've got."

For both Labour and National candidates, it's Mt Roskill or bust

Michael Wood on The Nation

He deflected questions from host Lisa Owen about Labour's infamous "Chinese-sounding names" attack on foreign owners, saying "stopping offshore speculation in our property market" was essential to keeping prices in check.

On other issues, Ms Parmar said she was "pro-life" and would vote against any right-to-die legislation Parliament looked at, and is "not satisfied" by plans to increase the age at which the Youth Court deals with offenders.

"What I'm seeing and hearing from small business is when groups of people commit crime... it's young people who are engaged and causing the most serious damage."

While Mr Wood said it would be "inappropriate" to comment on how many of Labour's promised extra 1000 police officers would be stationed in Mt Roskill, and said the party would be "a bit creative" in how it planned to fund its transport plans, which include light rail from the city to the electorate.