Making the voice of Auckland's rural north heard on Queen St was Tracey Martin's aim a year ago when she left 16 years of unpaid community work behind to be part of the Super City.

That voice was heard loud and clear recently when the mother of three, NZ First stalwart and Mahurangi College Board chairwoman stood up in the Auckland Council chamber, looked councillors in the eye, and asked them whether her district's job growth plans had been "stolen by aliens".

Her plea on the omissions of the draft Auckland Plan won the novice Rodney Local Board member high praise from deputy mayor Penny Hulse: "A thorough presentation," she said.

Yesterday, the 46-year-old winemaker's wife declined to say whether she would quit as an elected representative of the area's 54,000 residents in pursuit of her new career as an MP.

Advertisement

However, she was clear that if she achieved one thing in Parliament, she would be happy if it were the cause of childhood literacy.

She also was keen to bring her previous experience as an insolvency expert and credit controller to bear on the sort of problems grappled by members of parliamentary select committees.

"An awful lot of the power is in the detail of a bill and that should be sorted out at select committee. I hope to have a lot of influence inside that stuff."

A strong influence on the new MP has been her service on primary and secondary school boards - and lack of state help for six-year-olds who struggle to learn to read.

She said she would work to change the way child reading recovery and literacy support was funded.

"I would be thrilled to have six-year-olds funded on need, because now they are funded according to a school's decile rating."

For Warkworth Primary School, that weighting according to the area's socioeconomic status highlighted unfairness and inequality.

"Our school was decile 8 and had 12 kids identified as needing reading support to get to the level of their peers. They had funding for half a child because of the money perceived to be in the community."

Advertisement