The leader of the People's Party, which is contesting Auckland's Mt Roskill by-election seat, is vowing to donate his entire salary to provide lunches for kids at schools in the electorate.
Roshan Nauhria says the $171,000 salary, around $125,000 after tax, that he will get if he is elected to parliament, will cover the costs of putting a lunch in schools programme in place for the 22 different schools in the area. He wants to source the ingredients for the sandwiches and fresh fruit locally, and wants to put somebody in place to run the programme, which he thinks will be about 20 hours a week of work.
"It's not that every kid is hungry when they come to school, and it's not that every kid needs help... but there's a number of families that are struggling," he said. "I want to help them."
"Some of the kids don't go to school because they don't have good food. I've been speaking to people in the community, who tell me this is the biggest need. We are going to make sure all of the kids in this area are fed properly at lunch time."
Mr Nauhria is the owner of a major Auckland-based precast concrete company, and a steel reinforcing company. He has been involved in charities in India, that help children to learn, for the past 30 years.
"I'm not fighting the election for the money. I've lived here for a long time and I want to give something back to the community. If it costs more, and I have to put money in from my own pocket, I'll do it."
The programme would be catered to the needs of individual schools, depending on the wants and needs of staff and students.
Mr Nauhria said he's confident Mt Roskill businesses will want to get on board with the idea, because it's a charity. He is also confident that he will be able to get the programme up and running by the start of the next school year, if he's elected in December.
"Part of the money will go towards paying somebody to organise the whole programme. That's where these programmes fall over, when they get given the food, but school staff don't have the time to run it. We will pay somebody for 20 hours a week to run it."
Mr Nauhria said in his years of charity work, he has never found it difficult to find people to donate.
"Whether it's a little or a lot, when it's charity, people will help you."
The Mt Roskill by-election was triggered when Labour's Phil Goff, who previously held the seat, was elected Mayor of Auckland. Voting for a new Mt Roskill representative takes place on December 3rd.