On Tuesday evening, Hamilton’s youngest Council candidates appeared at the University of Waikato’s Gallagher Academy of
Performing Arts to get youth amped about voting in the upcoming local election.
Critique of current and past councils were a common theme, alongside climate change and environmental concerns.
While the YWRC are strong advocates to combating the results of climate change, we’re interested in the landscape of
employment for young workers, and the effects of changing technology and business infrastructure.
“Events like ‘Let’s give a sh*t about politics’ are absolutely an answer to engaging the younger generations. But where
is the discussion about their futures as adults contributing meaningfully to society through employment and work?” asks
YWRC Service Manager Mel Martin.
With so many Hamilton candidates under the age of 35, our question remains.
This generation of young candidates have the best opportunity of engaging young voters, and it’s important to cover ALL
concerns of voters.
Seed Waikato’s political event engaged activists, young people who have a vest interest in climate change, local
community organisation representatives, politically minded folk, and the usual community movers and shakers.
But there was a gap in the audience.
“There were few students freshly out of high school (or about to be), there were notably fewer disabled people than not,
there was less representation of cultural/indigenous communities than we had hoped to see” said Martin.
The “average”, everyday citizen between the ages of 18-35 are still relatively unengaged, unmotivated, or disinterested.
Enrolling to vote can be done online or at various locations throughout the city, and closes 16 August.