There are 13 candidates running for Parliament in the Mt Albert by-election. We asked each of them why you should vote for them.

Adam Amos, Independent
Age: 41
Occupation: Carer
Lives: Mt Albert

I am standing as an independent candidate in the Mt Albert by-election, because I feel that being independent from a political party is less restrictive and I am able to adopt issues and policies that the residents of Mt Albert feel strongly about. Healthcare, aged care (with the possible appointment of an Aged Care Commissioner) and housing are nationwide issues I personally feel strongly about.

Jacinda Ardern, Labour
Age: 36
Occupation: Labour Party List MP
Lives: Pt Chevalier

Mt Albert is my home - it has a fantastic sense of community, but it's also facing issues that I know we can fix. We'll build more homes, stop foreign buyers, and crack down on speculators. We'll work with council on a 30-year plan for public transport, and pitch in for light rail. Our growing schools need support to keep class sizes down. We'll bring back our local police kiosks, and tackle water quality issues. I want to be a strong voice for our community and make these things happen, not just for us, but for the next generation.

Dale Arthur, Independent
Age: 36
Occupation: Self-employed
Lives: Kingsland

It is Ideas, not ideology that form the foundation of 21st century politics - we need to move past the outdated policies of the 1980s. I firmly believe in the strength of local communities - the businesses, groups, and people that form them constitute the foundation of New Zealand and make it the country that it is. It is in those communities that New Zealand can find dynamic prosperity for all. My mindset is one of business, diversity of culture, and dynamic outlook. A vote for me is one for balanced progress which finds the best solution by working with all parties.

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Patrick Brown, Communist League
Age: 62
Occupation: Supermarket worker
Lives: Mangere Bridge

I present a working class programme to mobilise working people in the face of capitalism's international economic crisis. We call for a public works programme to create jobs and meet human needs. We champion union organisation and call for increased wages and benefits. We oppose racism, the scapegoating of immigrants, and discrimination against women. To end skyrocketing rents and house prices, we say housing must cease being a commodity for profit. Join us in fighting to overthrow capitalist rule and replace it with a government of working people.

Penny Bright, Independent
Age: 61
Occupation: Activist
Lives: Kingsland

Why vote for an existing MP? I am independent. I am a proven anti-privatisation and anti-corruption campaigner. I have attended five iternational anti-corruption conferences.
I was a chosen New Zealand expert for the 2015 World Justice Project International 'Rule of Law Index'. The Auckland Supercity is a super ripoff. Auckland is unaffordable. The books aren't open. Does all growth need to come to Auckland? It's time for a national migration, population and regional employment strategy. I get things done. It's time for a new and effective MP - with a vision. Someone with a plan. This is Penny Bright.

Joe Carolan, People Before Profits
Age: 46
Occupation: Unite Union organiser
Lives: Owairaka

The big parties of the Left - Labour and Greens - are not connecting with a growing number of people who are switched off from establishment politics. In this age of Brexit and Trump, we need radical solutions to poverty and the pain that working class people are facing. The centre has ignored our suffering for too long.
This is a safe Labour seat. Both Jacinda Ardern and Julie Anne Genter are already MPs who do some good work in Parliament. But this is a chance to send a warrior with a message to the establishment that we are sick of low wages, high rents, and the rule of the very rich elite.
We want to build a people's movement in Mt Albert that will help people stand up for their rights. Come join the Socialist movement and put People Before Profits in 2017.

Abe Gray, The Cannabis Party
Age: 34
Occupation: University tutor
Lives: North Dunedin

New Zealand is an export-led agricultural economy but dairy expansion is killing our environment. We need an alternative high-value crop with many different uses.
Additionally, the many other benefits for society of Cannabis legalisation are well known.
By helping us advance our agenda which will greatly benefit the country, you the Mt Albert voter can make sure we don't slip behind the rest of the world in important social and economic policy.

By taking responsibility for bringing NZ into the 21st century on this issue, Mt Albert voters can improve the lot of the country and reap disproportionate benefits for Mt Albert.

Julie Anne Genter, Green Party
Age: 37
Occupation: Green Party List MP
Lives: Mt Eden

I am passionate about Auckland. We have an incredible opportunity to create towns and cities that are happier and healthier. My professional experience in transport and urban design makes me an excellent choice to represent the Mt Albert electorate. I first moved to Morningside in 2006, and I joined the Green Party to campaign for electrification of the rail network - which has been a success! There is still much we can do to get more affordable housing, cleaner transport, and protect our water and environment for the long term. Vote for me to show the Government you want real action on transport and housing.

Geoff Simmons, The Opportunities PartyOccupation: Economist
Age: 42
Lives: Westmere (temporarily)

Both the Labour and Greens candidates are already in Parliament and neither is willing to work with the National Government for the next 7 months. By voting for me you could have 3 MPs for the price of 1; and some real influence to boot as I would work with the government of the day. As an economist I am the natural choice for anyone interested in a strong economy. My priorities are getting house prices and rents under control, clean beaches and fixing the infrastructure that is creaking under the strain of rapid population growth.

Simon Smythe, Not A Party
Age: 47
Lives: Miramar, Wellington

What will I do to Mt Albert if I am crowned King of it? I will gut the electorate office and turn it into a soup kitchen. Not A Party are great at deconstruction.
Concerns: Do we think people are going to say they're hungry when they're not hungry? If they do they obviously suffer from a mental illness and should be given food immediately. Pakoras and sabji stat!
What's in it for you if you're not hungry? Good question. Glad you asked. When a grimy footpath reprobate asks you for change you can direct them to the soup kitchen instead of giving them money. Money that you're worried they'll only spend on drugs because that's probably what you would do if you were living on a footpath. It's long past time politicians started serving the people. Not A Party are here, happy to oblige.

Vin Tomar
Age: 42
Occupation: Kindergarten teacher
Lives: Mt Albert

I want to become the voice of Mt Albert electorate people to raise their issues and concerns so that immediate actions can be taken to solve the issues. I am available 24/7 for the Mt Albert electorate community to serve them. Once I win election on 25 Feb 2017, there will be a free phone service where community members can contact my office with their issues or concerns. By doing door-knocking, the issues I have received so far are law and order, family support, housing and immigration, and I will work on these immediately as a MP.

Policies will be made for the people and by the people. I just need a chance before the general election to show what I can do for my community as MP.

Anthony Van Den Heuvel, Human Rights Party
Age: 60
Occupation: Mathematician
Lives: Kingsland

I have been running since 2002 for the Human Right's Party for every election. I first ran in 1993 for the New Zealand Defence Movement.The Human Rights Party believes in political (Upper House and direct democracy), social (inclusive, humane and egalitarian society), economic (Third Way and middle of the road economics), environmental (living green), and religious (evidence based) reform. The Human Rights Party believes in Te Tiriti O Waitangi (a living document) no vote and no confidence on ballot papers, free health and free education paid by businesses paying their fair share of taxes, a living wage for the working class and the working poor paid by the very rich, the rich and the middle classes, the redistribution of wealth for an adequate standard of living for the poor, sick and elderly paid by the taxpayer.

Peter Wakeman, Independent
Age: 57
Occupation: Pilot, businessman
Lives: Christchurch

I am extremely worried about several issues confronting New Zealand today. Runaway climate change I believe is threatening the world with starvation and ultimate extinction. I am advocating a retirement age of 55 years old funded by a financial transaction tax of 25 cents per $100. I also believe New Zealanders need to preserve their autonomy and legal freedoms which are in danger of being swallowed up by international agreements.