Election 2023: Labour's Mt Albert candidate Helen White says rising cost of living front of mind for electorate

Labour's newly announced candidate for Mt Albert, Helen White.
Labour's newly announced candidate for Mt Albert, Helen White. Photo credit: Helen White / Facebook


Labour's newly announced candidate for Mount Albert, Helen White, says the rising cost of living will be front of mind for residents of the electorate.

The list MP beat out Labour caucus colleague Camilla Belich yesterday for a chance to take the spot vacated by former prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

White, who has lived in the Auckland electorate for three decades, said a pressing concern for the community was rising interest rates and rents.

She said she knew how hard it could be.

"I remember when my marriage broke up and I bought my house, I had a really big mortgage and I was really worried about interest rates.

"And that kind of financial vulnerability is a big deal, and I take it very seriously."

She is touting her campaigning experience.

White previously stood twice for the Auckland Central electorate, losing to National's Nikki Kaye in 2017, and the Green's Chlöe Swarbrick in 2020.

She said she learnt from these contests the importance of a strong ground game.

"I know the value of getting out and really doing a grass-roots campaign.

"Where you door knock as much as you can, where you have as many engagements with the public as you possibly can, and that you listen to them."

Labour has never lost the Mt Albert seat.

It was previously held by party leaders Ardern, Helen Clark and David Shearer.

The National Party candidate for the seat is set to be Melissa Lee and White said the pair get on well.