Have say on boundaries urge MPs
Residents wanting Waiheke to stay part of Auckland Central should say so, MP Nikki Kaye says.
And they need to do it soon with a submissions deadline looming just before Christmas Eve.
Her advice comes in the wake of nationwide election boundary changes proposed by the Representation Commission with a call for people to have their say.
Under the proposals, Auckland Central would lose 11,000 voters from Westmere and parts of Grey Lynn to the Mt Albert electorate.
And Mt Albert would lose Waterview to a newly created Kelston seat.
The proposal does not affect Waiheke but Ms Kaye is warning that might change if there are enough successful objections.
"It is important people know that these are just the proposed boundary changes. There is a process of consultation that ends in April. This could lead to changes, so it is still possible Waiheke could be affected.
"Islanders should definitely make their views heard. For instance if you are supportive of Waiheke remaining in the Auckland Central electorate as proposed, you may wish to put in a submission stating that."
Meanwhile, she and two other MPs well known to islanders - Labour's Jacinda Ardern and the Greens' Denise Roche - are looking towards next year's elections.
Ms Kaye says boundary changes will not affect how she does her job and plans to be even more accessible to Waiheke residents with a space at the market or an office on the island.
She has already started door-knocking on Waiheke in advance of next year's election and will continue her clinics and meetings.
Labour list MP Jacinda Ardern, who was Ms Kaye's closest rival for the Auckland Central seat at the last election, is also keen to retain a close relationship with the island.
Her advice over boundary submissions is for residents to make them. But she believes no matter what happens it will not affect her election chances.
Ms Ardern says the only difference it will make is where Labour will be door knocking but confirms she will fight for Auckland Central and not switch to another electorate.
"Regardless of where the final line is drawn it would be a mistake to call Auckland Central a safe National seat.
"It was a marginal seat last election, and will remain marginal until proven otherwise.
"We fought hard last election and halved the incumbent majority, and certainly plan on carrying the fight right through till 2014."
For Waiheke resident and Green list MP Denise Roche, the changes are unlikely to make any significant difference because her campaign will focus on party votes.
"The boundary changes cut out a bit of Grey Lynn and Westmere and this is likely to reduce the number of Green supporters in the electorate.
"However, as we campaign for the party vote rather than the electorate one, if those voters continue to party vote Green then we still have the same net effect," she says.
"Campaigning in the city is a bit harder - because it's hard to get into apartment buildings to door knock for example - but I've found that those living in the city are really positive about the Green Party.
"City living makes people very conscious about active transport, urban design and green spaces."
- Waiheke Marketplace
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