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.
Tim is experienced in educational psychology and game development. Trained with a Master of Science in Psychology and PGCertEdPsych from Massey University, Tim has used his skills to develop an educational video game, a youth innovation challenge, the NZ curriculum review, and give motivational speeches at schools. Tim's educational video game, Rocket Island, is available to download on Google Play Store and Steam. He is now running for Hamilton City Council with policies to transition to green technologies, prepare the city for disruptive technologies, and increase accessibility for the aging population.
With experience in educational psychology, social entrepreneurship, and game development, Tim is rolling for Hamilton City Council to bring scientific literacy, urgency and 'A Young perspective'. His policies include transitioning to green technologies, preparing the city for disruptive technologies, and increasing accessibility for the increasing aging population.
Q&A with Tim!
1. What is your vision for the city?
I have a clear vision to reduce congestion, carbon emissions, transport costs, and improve accessibility by embracing technology.
A few things I’d like to see:
- Solar panels, beehives, and plants on Council rooftops.
- Pedestrian area in the CBD to provide space for bikes/e-scooters (on the road and off the footpath), pedestrians, and autonomous vehicles to transport people around the CBD.
- Micro-mobility lanes from Caro St to the bus station.
- High density apartments to help revitalise the CBD.
- Accessible parks, bike/e-scooter racks, and drop-off zones next to the pedestrian only area.
- More Kirsty Kerbs, fully accessible toilets, smooth footpaths.
2. Why did you decide to run in this year’s elections?
I felt like the issues I care deeply about (technology, climate change, accessibility needs) aren’t properly understood by the current Councillors, so they’re not even close to dealing with the challenges effectively.
I felt like we needed someone who has their finger on the pulse of advances in technology, knows what questions to ask scientists and staff to inform debate around climate change, fluoridation, and technology, and someone that represents segments of our population not currently represented. With my unique life experience, I can provide that.
3. What are your top 3 priorities in your campaign?
We need to urgently enact a zero-carbon plan. We need to install solar panels, beehives and plants on Council rooftops, include electronics, batteries, and oil in the waste minimisation scheme, and prioritise public transport and separate cycle-ways over new infrastructure.
We need to prepare for disruptive technologies like drone deliveries, e-scooters, automation, and artificial intelligence, which can all be used to reduce congestion and carbon emissions.
With 24% of the population having a disability, and an increasing aging population, we need to improve accessibility to open up the community, economy, and job market to everyone, and capitalise on aged tourism.
4. What’s been your biggest learning in your campaigning?
I have learnt so much, and if elected I will face a steep learning curve getting up to speed. Fortunately, two of my best skills include my ability to learn and my ability to adapt to change.
It served me well when I broke my neck and had to adapt, when I completed my Master of Science degree, and when I learned to develop video games from YouTube tutorials.
So far, my biggest learning has been about the complexity of governance, roles of local vs central vs regional governments, and nuance behind Kirikiriroa’s challenges.
5. What do you think needs to be done to engage young people in voting?
Firstly, candidates need to have a strong vision for what Hamilton will look like in the future. Also, people would be more likely to vote and stand for Council if there were people in Council who they could relate to and who represent them.
Young people and disabled people are less likely to vote because they don’t trust that Councillors who don’t have a lived experience of their daily challenges are likely to fight for issues that are important to them.
We need more people who represent our community, and more people with a clear vision for the way forward.
6. What skills and experience do you bring to the table?
I am the Founder and CEO of an educational technology company that develops educational video games. So far, in my campaign I have focused on using this platform to educate other candidates about accessibility issues, and new technologies I think will affect the city in the next three years.
The most important and consequential skill I’ve learned is scientific literacy. That’s because science underpins everything that we know about climate change and technology, and since technology underpins civilisation, and the future of civilisation depends on climate change, our future depends on our policymakers’ understanding of science.
7. What sets you apart from other candidates?
I’m the only candidate with a Master of Science, so I will bring scientific literacy to the Council to help inform debate about fluoridation, climate action, and advances in technology. I’m pretty sure I’m the only candidate with programming experience, so I’ll make decisions with knowledge about computers and how to best use automation, computer simulations, and artificial intelligence to solve problems the city faces.
As the only candidate who uses a wheelchair, I have a lived experience that will help improve accessibility for the disabled and aging population.