DEBUNKING LOCAL POLITICS
Oh, hey there! Welcome to Seed Waikato’s political lounge. This year, we’re focusing on increasing youth engagement in local politics. Get cosy and let’s whiz through some key information that you’ll need to understand how running for council and voting works.
WHAT WE’RE DOING AND WHY WE’RE DOING IT
We’re launching a campaign to drive youth engagement in local politics, through promoting young people who are standing for Council, and encouraging youth voter turnout. We’re creating a bunch of awesome education and awareness resources that we’ll be hosting on this webpage, as well as publicising on our social media channels! These resources are tailored to help young (and many first-time) voters navigate what can be a very confusing process.
As a charity and movement designed to uplift and tautoko young people across the region to thrive, we’re specifically passionate about increasing youth political engagement. Young people are politically engaged, but have been excluded and marginalised from many instances of decision-making, despite leading many widespread political movements.
Locally, only 51.12% of Hamiltonians aged 18-24 are enrolled to vote. Broadly, voter turnout is low as well, with only 37.6% across the Waikato Region turning up to vote in the 2016 local elections. That’s why in this election, we’re focusing on getting the youth voice at the table through candidacy and voting.
We will tautoko other events that create space for the other candidates, as we understand many people over the age of 35 care about the issues young people do, and can and do create change on those issues.
NOW THAT’S THAT OUT OF THE WAY, LET’S DIG IN!
We’re operating on the assumption that you live in the Waikato region. If you’re not sure, check out this handy graphic from Waikato Regional Council.
STILL WITH US?
Most cities or districts contain a number of wards to further break down areas. For example, Hamilton City is split by the river into the East and West wards. Another example is if you live in Tamahere, you’re outside the Hamilton City boundaries, so you’re served by Waikato District Council in the Tamahere ward. If you live in Cambridge, you’re served by Waipa District Council in the Cambridge ward. When it comes to voting, you’ll vote for councillors running for your ward, except for the Mayor who is elected across all wards (at large).
Each of the city or district wards also corresponds to seats on Waikato Regional Council. For example, voters in the Waipa District can vote for one councillor to represent the Waipa-King Country Constituency or one councillor to represent Nga Tai Ki Uta Constituency.
So in total, you’ll be voting for two local government bodies:
Your city or district council
Your voting forms will have your regional council and city OR district; you just have to ensure your enrolment details are correct (Hint: You can check your enrolment here!). You’ll also need to find out which ward (in your city or district) and which constituency (regional) you’re voting in.
Usually in local council elections, we vote for members of the Waikato District Health Board as well – but that’s not happening in 2019. For more information on this, visit this page.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CITY, DISTRICT AND REGIONAL COUNCILS?
As we’ve covered, city councils serve larger urban areas (there’s 13 of them across New Zealand) and district councils serve rural and smaller urban areas. City and district councils look after things like roads, reserves, land and building consents, waste management, and matters of local interest, while regional councils administer environmental (water, contaminant discharge, coastal, river, and lake management) and public transport matters.
Now, onto how this all affects you! Which applies to you?
As part of our campaign, we’re getting up close and personal with council candidates who are aged 35 and under in the Waikato region to uplift their mission and tautoko youth in politics. We’ve also linked the websites of other candidates for Waikato Regional Council and Waikato District Council below, so feel free to check out their campaigns as well so you can make an informed voting decision for who YOU feel represents YOU best.
Click on their faces to visit their profile pages and find out more about who’s leading the #youthquake in our region!
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to contact and ensure we have featured all council ward and mayoral candidates aged 35 and under in the Waikato region. If you see something missing, please feel free to get in touch with us via the contact form at the bottom of the page.
WHAT ABOUT CANDIDATES OVER 35?
It’s important to make informed decisions, so you can find more information on everyone running for Waikato Regional Council and Waikato District Council by clicking on the links. You can also find links to official candidate lists for other councils in the Waikato region in our voter guide.
We’re grounding our campaign in solid research. Take a look at our political report, Local Politics: Enhancing Youth Engagement to learn more about how youth in the Waikato engage with local politics. Click the button below to download it, or check out the quick snapshot on the side!
IN THE NEWS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What agendas or candidates does Seed Waikato support?
Seed Waikato is non-partisan and does not have any political affiliation.
I missed the deadline to enrol to vote/my enrolment details aren’t up to date - what do I do?!
You’ll have to request special voting papers from your Electoral Officer - in the Waikato, it’s Dale Ofsoske (email@example.com). You can also cast a special vote by dropping into Council buildings during business hours.
Do you have any feedback, questions, or want further information on what we’re doing to engage youth in politics? Get in contact with us via the form below.