Mt Roskill a priority, Wood

Puketapapa Local Board member Michael Wood is assuring constituents he's still committed to the Mt Roskill area despite being selected as Labour's candidate for the Botany byelection.

Mr Wood says the Botany campaign will only affect his role as a local board member for five weeks because he's got no chance of winning.

"Botany is a strong National seat that I'm not going to be able to win as a Labour candidate. It's not going to be something that pulls me away from Mt Roskill."

Despite admitting defeat before the votes have been cast, he says there are plenty of good reasons to stand.

"It's the opportunity to campaign on issues I care about."

But the father-of-two admits he's going to be spreading himself thin throughout the campaign.

"It will certainly soak up a lot of my time. I'll be running myself pretty hard over that five-week period."

Puketapapa Local Board chairman Richard Barter says he doesn't have a problem with Mr Wood standing in Botany.

"He's a person with huge ability and political experience. Michael's obviously got his eyes set on aspirations for central government – it's a noble aspiration for anyone to have. He's said to me he will cover the bases and I take him at his word."

Mr Wood grew up in the eastern suburbs and stood unsuccessfully for Labour in Pakuranga at the 2002 and 2005 general elections.

He wouldn't comment on whether he'd seek a place on Labour's list at the general election, which Prime Minister John Key has announced will take place on November 26.

Central Leader