Source: Auckland Council
Students from six Auckland schools will put local election candidates to the test as part of the Ngā Pōti ā-Taiohi / Youth Voting programme run by Auckland Council.
Five candidate evenings and a mayoral candidate night will be held over the coming weeks, each organised by an Auckland high school.
The first candidate evening, on Wednesday 28 August, will see Epsom Girls Grammar host candidates standing in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward. The mayoral candidate night will be held at Manurewa High School the following evening.
Year 12 Manurewa High student Harleen Bhathal is looking forward to learning more about the candidates, their policies, and how voting can help shape our communities.
“It’s not every day you get to ask mayoral candidates about their vision for Auckland.
“This event will help us make better-informed decisions when we’re old enough to vote.”
The Youth Voting programme teaches students aged between 11 and 15 about local government and the importance of elections.
The initiative will see about 13 thousand students from more than 70 Auckland schools take part in a mock online election. Students will vote for the actual candidates running for Auckland Council.
Epsom Girls Grammar pupil Nivedita Tewary hopes the candidate evening will “encourage a new generation of younger voters”.
“By having our say at election time, young people can help make a positive difference.”
Students Jordan Holt and Katrina Shepard helped organise the Epsom Girls Grammar event.
“Organising this candidate evening has broadened our knowledge of local government and its importance in enabling actions to benefit society.
“We hope this event will educate our peers and increase youth participation in the voting process.”
Auckland Council Democracy Services General Manager Marguerite Delbet says people who engage in politics at a young age form lifelong voting habits.
“We hope the students will continue the election conversation at home with their family and encourage them vote in this year’s election.”
The candidate evenings and mayoral candidate night are organised by the host schools and are not part of Auckland Council’s election programme. Council has no input over which candidates take part.
28 August – Albert-Eden-Roskill candidate evening: Epsom Girls Grammar
29 August – Mayoral candidate night: Manurewa High
19 September – Manukau candidate evening: Aorere College
24 September – Manurewa-Papakura candidate evening: James Cook High
25 September – Whau candidate evening: Avondale College
Date TBC – Waitematā & Gulf candidate evening: Western Springs College
Key Election Dates
26 August – Candidate profiles published on the elections website
20 September – Voting opens
8 October – Last day to post voting papers (ballot boxes will still be open)
12 October – Voting closes at midday
17 October to 23 October – Official results announced