National has a lot to gain from winning the Mt Roskill by-election and Labour is already showing it knows it has a lot to lose:
The Mt Roskill by-election campaign has hardly started and Labour has already shown how desperately worried they are about losing it, National Party Campaign Chair Steven Joyce says.
“Labour are hitting the panic button fairly early on,” Mr Joyce says. “Promising a $1.4 billion rail link between the electorate and the city looks very desperate.”
“This is taking pork barrel politics to a whole new level. If this is the sticker price for a Labour party by-election campaign, all the other electorates across New Zealand will be asking for their $1.4 billion. To say nothing of every other electorate in Auckland looking for multi-billions in new railway lines. And we’ve still got more than a month to go.”
Mr Joyce noted that the Labour party is promising Auckland ratepayers will pay for part of their by-election bribe. “I’m assuming the new Mayor of Auckland is okay with Andrew Little saying the city has got a lazy $700 million lying around at the same time Mr Goff is out there saying the Council is short of money.”
Mr Joyce says Labour would be better off promoting their candidate as a possible MP for Mt Roskill. “This is Mr Wood’s third attempt to become an MP. You think they would be putting in the effort making him look electable rather than highlighting how worried they are he’ll lose.
“The Mt Roskill by-election will be about who is the best person to represent the electorate in Parliament.
“Parmjeet Parmar is already showing the people of Mt Roskill that she is a hardworking conscientious MP who will be a strong diligent voice for Mt Roskill in Wellington. All this announcement today underlines is that Labour are worried sick that the people of Mt Roskill will choose her over their candidate.”
These comments show National has learned from mistakes made in the Northland by-election.
And it’s just as well because the Taxpayers’ Union is counting the cost of any promises made:
The Taxpayers’ Union is relaunching its election Bribe-O-Meter to keep track of politicians’ pork-barrel promises in the lead up to the Mt Roskill by-election. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:
“While the by-election is for a single Parliamentary seat, the cost of pork-barrel promises impact the pockets of all New Zealand taxpayers.”
“Labour has run roughshod over Auckland Council and the NZTA’s cost-benefit planning processes. Its pledge to spend $1.4 billion on light rail risks an expensive bidding war with the Government – with the cost landing on taxpayers.”
“The Bribe-O-Meter is to provide transparency and accountability for what those promises will cost.”
The Mt Roskill Bribe-O-Meter will be hosted online at www.taxpayers.org.nz.
In a by-election voters can, as they do with their electorate vote in a general election, choose the person they think will best represent them and pay less attention to parties.
The more Labour promises to spend, the more it will be showing it lacks confidence it its candidate.