Politicians put to test the by Rewa students
Students from Manurewa High, James Cook High and Alfriston College had the opportunity to better understand politics at a recent debate of Manurewa candidates from five different parties.
Hoping to get the youth from their electorate up and voting this year were the Louisa Wall of the Labour Party, Katrina Bungard of the National Party, Teanau Tuiono of the Green Party, Tasha Hohaia of the Maori Party and Elliot Ikilei of the Conservative Party.
Issues about housing and homelessness, immigration, an increase in teen suicide, provisions for better healthcare and education were among the several topics discussed.
Year 11 student John Chen says the big issues that are close to his heart are the housing crisis and the struggle between the tourism and agriculture industries.
He says all parties are working towards the housing crisis, ‘‘some better than others’’.
‘‘I’m quite passionate about the environment. With agriculture polluting our rivers and that’s destroying our environment. That negatively affects our tourism industry. So what to do we prioritise?’’
‘‘We should focus on tourism, not just because it brings a lot of money, but we need to respect the country that we live in, our land.’’
Sally Pritchard, a member of the Manurewa Youth Council, is not pleased with how youth are seen as a ‘‘problem in this country’’.
‘‘Being in the youth council gives me a chance to change the stigma around youth being the trouble, being the that people don’t vote. There are some of us out there and we are trying to do the right thing.’’
She says youth are on a different stand from the older generations that are in government right now.
Additionally, being an immigrant herself, she’s concerned about immigration policies.
‘‘I feel there are policies that are trying to help but not fully connect with immigrants or how we’re seen. There is still a stigma with people that are coming into the country all the time.’’
Students also questioned how scrapping the decile system will help South Auckland schools, plans for an efficient public transport network, reducing the number of children living in poverty and the ability of the education system to leading them to success.
What issue are you most concerned about this election? House prices, education, transport, environment, immigration, health or poverty.
Go to www.neighbourly.co.nz/ message/view/29441501 to take part in our poll.
‘‘Being in the youth council gives me a chance to change the stigma around youth being the trouble.’’
Manurewa candidates and students at Manurewa High School. From right, Sally Pritchard and John Chen.