This blog is part of a series of blogs profiling all candidates standing for Councils across the region who are 35 or under as we aim to increase youth engagement in local politics. Seed Waikato is non-partisan.
Dan decided to stand as he realised that we require young voices dedicated to rural communities, who have a background in helping people and the willingness to get things done.
Dan is eager to provide a loud voice in the push for combating climate change in the Waikato, and Aotearoa New Zealand. The threat to our lives isn’t limited to the future; parts of the Waipā and King Country area are already experiencing increased erosion and flooding with droughts becoming more frequent. These are real problems, needing real leadership.
“The people, communities, and environment of the Waipā – King Country area deserve a representative who will listen and support them.”
- Dan Armstrong
Q&A with Dan!
1. What is your vision for the city/district/region?
One where people can be proud of their forests, waters, and natural life. One where we come together to take on the great issues facing us. That's my vision.
2. Why did you decide to run in this year's elections?
I chose to out of the necessity of having a younger and fresher perspective at the council table. I think it is vital we elect someone who understands people's concerns about issues like environment and climate change, housing affordability, and mental health.
3. What are your top 3 priorities in your campaign?
Placing a greater focus and action on preparing/dealing with climate change.
Integrating our rail, cycle, bus and other modes of transport so everyone can have a public alternative for getting around.
Improving WRC’s communications so it can connect and engage with people better, and more strategically.
4. What's been your biggest learning in your campaigning?
9 times out of 10, going with your gut feeling is the answer. It'll save a heap of time and resources.
5. What do you think needs to be done to engage young people in voting?
We need candidates who understand what mediums of communication are used, who are visible and engaging and won't shy away from issues. People of all ages can recognise passion and integrity and will participate. That transcends voting – that's broader politics.
Also, a change the way people vote (for example introducing STV, online etc.) Our voting system limits voting and desperately needs reform.
Oh, and civics education too.
6. What skills and experience do you bring to the table?
A community-minded person. I have held different communications/governance/research roles with various groups and organisations in the region.
A critical mind that has served me well at uni and in journalism.
Several customer service jobs – roles necessary for being able to communicate and engage with the public.
7. What sets you apart from other candidates?
I'm the youngest Waikato Region Council candidate, and one of a couple who knows what it's like to grow up in the region this century. I'm likely the only WRC candidate who routinely uses the bus system WRC funds. And I’m the only candidate in Waipā-King Country Ward focusing primarily on how vital it is to prepare and adapt to climate change.