More than a hundred people are set to attend Seed Waikato's Political Punch event next week, aimed at increasing youth engagement in politics.
“In the previous general election, 30 per cent of young people that could vote, didn’t. Why does my generation believe voting is a choice, rather than a responsibility as a citizen of Aotearoa?” Co-founder and Chair of Seed Waikato, Gemma Major asked.
“We are putting on this event to begin normalising voting. Our goal is to support and empower young people to turn-up and vote for the party that they align with, whoever that may be."
The event is being hosted at the University of Waikato and will bring together a range of speakers for a facilitated conversation.
“We’re expecting questions on housing, climate change, mental health, employment, ageing population and income equality,” Mrs Major said.
Event co-organiser, Holly Bennett, supported the call for more millennials to get actively engaged in the political direction of the country.
“We constantly hear the millennial generation is the most politically disengaged generation in our society,” Ms Bennett said.
“Rather than viewing voting as a civic duty, many millennials view it as a choice. But all choices have consequences, and the consequence of not voting is disproportionate representation in our Parliament.
“I know many of our MPs want to genuinely engage with the millennial generation but, aside from social media, there are limited ways to do so. Thanks to our six speakers, we have created an event that brings together politicians from across the spectrum, to facilitate a constructive conversation at a time when no one is driven directly by the ballot box.”
The politicians involved in the event (in alphabetical order) are:
Barbara Kuriger MP, The National Party
Brooke van Velden, Act Party
Darroch Ball MP, NZ First
Donna Pokere Philips, The Opportunities Party
Jamie Strange MP, The Labour Party
Sam Taylor, Green Party
Tickets are available for just $5.00. The event will also be live streamed on Seed Waikato’s Facebook page. More information onPolitical Punch can be found at www.seedwaikato.nz/events.