Two aspiring young politicians held a fun event in Waihi to encourage more youth to enrol and vote in the October local government elections.
Joshua Mason and Dakota Sinclair hosted eDay on August 9, a fun afternoon where young people aged between 17- and 24-years-old can hang out with their friends and enrol or find out more about local government elections.
Joshua, 17, is passionate about local government – he plans to stand as a local government member as soon as he’s old enough.
“There’s not enough young people getting their voice heard and getting involved. Many people don’t even know what council does,” he says.
“We need to get that youth input in council decisions and to help council better engage with younger people.
“The first step is to encourage people to enrol, you need to get them enrolled first, that’s how they have their say.”
Dakota, 18, is currently on a gap year until he begins a four-year degree in political science and history at Victoria University in Wellington next year.
He’s eyeing a career in central government but he has an interest in politics in general.
“This event is essentially born for our idea of increasing youth engagement but also awareness of local government too,” he says.
“Our intention is to boost the Waihi turnout and we thought the best way to make a dent in that is to target youth.”
The pair planned to create a fun and engaging atmosphere during the eDay event, where youth enjoyed free food and good music while learning more about local government elections.
Hauraki District Council chief executive Langley Cavers says it was great to see the Waihi teens being proactive about encouraging youth to enrol and vote in local government elections.
“We’re keen to encourage everyone to get involved and participate in this year’s elections,” he says.
“This is an opportunity to choose who represents you in your district.”
To enrol to vote in the October 12 elections, visit visit elections.org.nz, Ph 0800 36 76 56 or visit any Post Shop for an enrolment form. Candidate nominations close on August 16. Go to www.hauraki-dc.govt.nz/elections for more information.