Newshub Nation: Port Waikato by-election race between National's Andrew Bayly and NZ First's Casey Costello

While the election is over for most New Zealanders, voters in Port Waikato still have a by-election to go.

While she's a new political face, Casey Costello is third on NZ First's list, and thus already in Parliament.

However, that doesn't mean she isn't giving her all to the by-election in an electorate where she's already well-known.

"I suppose I've been on the periphery of a lot of different issues, you know, with the Taxpayers' Union, Hobson's Pledge, those sorts of things," she said.   

"I've been in the lobbying environment, behind the scenes."

Now, front and centre and straight into Parliament, the question remains, why is she standing in Port Waikato?  

"This is my town, you know?" she said.   

"I just want to make sure that people know that I'm here, that I'm part of this community, that I really want to see things getting moving."  

Asked whether he was surprised Costello was running, National's Andrew Bayly said: "It's very expensive to campaign and she's a new candidate obviously, but people have a choice."

Bayly has won Port Waikato four times before, but this campaign is different.   

In the lead-up to the election, ACT's Port Waikato candidate Neil Christensen suddenly died, so the vote was abandoned, and a by-election set for November 25.   

There are plenty of fringe parties standing candidates, including New Zeal, NZ Loyal, Women's Rights, and Animal Justice.   

ACT, the Greens, and Labour haven't bothered, and it's likely that neither will many voters.   

Local second-hand trader Keith Moshiem said, "It's a done deal, that's what people are saying when they come in, they aren't going to bother".  

Another local, who voted in the main election, said it was "bloody ridiculous" that he would have to vote again.  

Bayly does have concerns about turnout.  

"Look, I certainly was initially concerned when I was standing on the doorsteps of people and they were saying, 'Look, we voted for you, didn't we?'".  

With the campaign dragging on, Bayly has dragged in former National Party leader Todd Muller to help freshen up his hoardings, something he said he doesn't miss "at all".  

Port Waikato's location leads to an interesting divide.  

Its famously fertile volcanic soils around Pukekohe have made it the food basket for Auckland but the expansion of the super city means it's become the line between the urban and rural.   

Population growth has been higher than the New Zealand average, reaching 3 percent each year.   

It's also the second-richest electorate when it comes to family incomes between $100,000 and $150,000, but that doesn't mean the cost of living isn't an issue.   

Moshiem said that people are spending less.

"They drive up, have a look, and just drive away. That never used to happen."

Port Waikato's size also means that voters in different areas face different issues.   

"I never talk about Pukekohe issues if I'm down in Maramarua," Bayly said. "It's all local, local, local."

Costello grew up in Pokeno and worked in the South Auckland Police before getting into politics. 

She also whakapapas to two chiefs who signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi so her work for Hobson's Pledge, an organisation that lobbies against race-based policy and for equality but not equity, has sparked some controversy.   

"Equity of outcome relies on your drive, your determination, what you're interested in," she said. 

"When we talk about equity, we're trying to say everybody gets the same. That's a utopia that doesn't exist."  

Costello argued that "we've got to shift away from the equity idea and accept that we're all individuals, that we all have different outcomes because that's the nature of a society, but what we have to do is make sure we are supporting and representing the most vulnerable and ensuring that the essentials are being delivered when they need to be delivered".  

Whether it's equality or roading, her campaign faces a mammoth task because Port Waikato has always been a National stronghold.  

Watch the full video for more.     

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