‘Orange guy’ not rel­e­vant to elec­tion, says TOP can­di­date

The Southland Times - - NEWS - JACK­SON THOMAS

A late en­try to the Mt Roskill elec­torate race in Auck­land says a long-run­ning Elec­toral Com­mis­sion mar­ket­ing cam­paign is ‘‘em­blem­atic of the broader is­sues be­hind voter in­er­tia’’.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion rolled out the Orange Guy cam­paign eight years ago to try to ap­peal to young vot­ers and re­mind peo­ple about en­rolling.

The Op­por­tu­ni­ties Party (TOP) Mt Roskill can­di­date Clint Uly­att said he had more than 20 years of ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing work on the Na­tional Party cam­paign in 2008.

He said the Orange Guy needed more in­vest­ment to be­come rel­e­vant again.

‘‘Orange Guy is re­ally em­blem­atic of the broader is­sues be­hind voter in­er­tia,’’ Uly­att said.

Things had changed since Orange Guy was first launched.

‘‘A decade is a long time in the dig­i­tal age, and it’s no sur­prise that Orange Guy’s rel­e­vance has been left be­hind in a by­gone age.’’

Uly­att said he wanted to play a role in get­ting peo­ple in­ter­ested in vot­ing, which would in­clude re­think­ing elec­torates so they re­flected con­stituents

‘‘Peo­ple are just not be­ing en­gaged and in­formed in the ways they should be.’’

Ques­tions about the orange guy’s rel­e­vance were raised in Au­gust when 20-year-old Tayla Wright, stu­dent of the AUT art and de­sign school, said she didn’t hate the cam­paign but it didn’t mo­ti­vate her to vote.

‘‘I feel like the orange man is out­dated and doesn’t rep­re­sent any­thing,’’ Wright said.

When the Orange Guy first hit screens he was dy­namic and en­gag­ing but an­i­ma­tion had since moved on, Uly­att said.

Uly­att was a late ad­di­tion to the Mt Roskill elec­torate race, putting his hand up four weeks from the elec­tion.

Ear­lier in the year, there was talk TOP wouldn’t have a can­di­date in any of the elec­torates, he said.

‘‘How­ever, we re­alised that in or­der to have a voice for the party, we needed more peo­ple on the streets and hav­ing lived in Three Kings for more than 10 years, I de­cided to put my hand up.’’

When asked how he rated his chances in Mt Roskill, a tra- di­tional Labour strong­hold cur­rently held by Michael Wood, Uly­att said his mis­sion was more to in­tro­duce ‘‘fresh think­ing’’ to the area, rather than win votes.

‘‘I’m sig­nalling an en­try to pol­i­tics in the area and an in­tent. It’s about shift­ing the goal­posts.’’

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