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New Lynn Electoral Office

The New Lynn Electorate Office sits in our main street, but just what do they do there?

1. What is an Electorate Office and what do you do there?

An Electorate Office is the office of the local Member of Parliament. In Avondale the electorate boundary between New Lynn and Kelston is on Ash St, with houses on one side of the road falling into the New Lynn electorate and houses on the other side falling into the Kelston electorate of Carmel Sepuloni. This is sometimes confusing as the New Lynn office is the one that most people who live in Avondale and Waterview see when they are in the local vicinity. MPs are funded by Parliament to offer advice and assistance to the constituents who live within the designated electorate boundaries.

2. Can I make an appointment with Dr Deborah Russell / when is she there?

Anyone who is a constituent can request an appointment with Deborah Russell. She runs a regular community catch up session on a Monday morning at 10 am so people can have a chat one on one with her 15 minutes. If this time is not convenient for a constituent, she can sometimes meet at a local café for a chat. Unfortunately Covid-19 has meant that these meetings have not been able to take place but hopefully we can get back to a regular schedule for constituent meetings early next year.

3. Do the staff work for the local MP?

Although the staff work for the MP, they are employed by Parliamentary Services, an independent organisation that manages the offices of all political parties. So, while the staff at the New Lynn Electorate Office (and the Kelston office) work at the office of a Labour MP, it is not a Labour Party office as such and there are strict guidelines when it comes to keeping parliamentary business and political party business separate.

4. Who works at the New Lynn Electorate office and how long have you been there?

As well as being the office of the MP for New Lynn, the electorate office is staffed by two full time members, Amanda and Vanessa, and a part time reliever.

Amanda and Vanessa have both worked with Deborah Russell for nearly four years, through the 52nd Parliament and into 53rd. When Parliament is sitting, Deborah is in Wellington from Monday afternoon through to Friday morning. If parliament is in recess, Deborah is able to spend more time in the office and in and around the community.

5. What sorts of queries do you get?

The MP and staff receives all manner of enquiries ranging from requests for assistance with immigration, WINZ and social housing to matters of government policy. Occasionally we get asked for help with things that the MP would not be able to become involved with. Legal matters, for instance are not something that the MP can help with and with immigration matters, the MP’s office doesn’t get involved when there is an active application lodged. When an enquiry is received, the electorate office staff will discuss whether or not the issue is something that the MPs office is able to help with.

6. What should I do if I have a problem – phone, make an appointment, what are your hours?

Constituents wanting help can phone and leave a message at our office 09 820 6245 or email at We prefer email because it is often a bit quicker to get to the heart of the issue and organise a response this way. However, we understand that some people do just like to phone for a bit of a chat!

Our office reception is open to the public Monday thru Thursday from 10 am – 2pm but staff are either in the office or working from home outside of these hours.

1885 Great North Road, Avondale

Phone 09 820 6245

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