Breadcrumbs

Packing a political punch

19 October 2018

Seed Waikato members with representatives from New Zealand's major political parties. Photo: MHB Photography.

In an effort to increase the number of young New Zealanders voting, social enterprise Seed Waikato organised a political panel event at the University of Waikato last week.

Calling itself Political Punch, the event brought together representatives from the country’s major political parties to discuss issues that matter to young people, including health, education and the environment.

Barbara Kuriger (National Party), Brooke van Velden (Act Party), Darroch Ball (NZ First), Donna Pokere Philips (The Opportunities Party), Jamie Strange (Labour Party) and Sam Taylor (Green Party) all attended, speaking to an audience of nearly 100 students.

Seed Waikato Chair and Bachelor of Management Studies graduate Gemma Major says the board was really happy with the turnout and the range of topics discussed.

"This event was all about increasing youth engagement with politics,” Gemma says. “We were so stoked the event was a healthy debate, and that we had a diverse representation of political parties present. We touched on the environment, abortion, mental health, equality, education, and student allowance.”

Gemma says Political Punch proved that young people are invested in the future of the country, and hopes the panel helped people realise that their votes make a difference.

“Political Punch told us that young people are concerned about our future, and want to see our representatives tackle the issues that matter to them,” Gemma says. “We often hear the narrative with young people that ‘my vote won’t count’, but 100 per cent of attendees said they will vote in the next election.”

The University of Waikato sponsored the event. Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley said he was glad to see student engagement with such important issues.

"It’s great to see so many young people becoming actively involved in meaningful conversations and invested in the future of New Zealand. We’re really proud that many Seed members are University of Waikato alumni and students – Seed Waikato does a fantastic job of inspiring and connecting people.”

Seed Waikato is a social enterprise, launched by five University of Waikato alumni last year. The group holds an event every month. Next month’s event Dreamshop: Tautuhi Ano is Seed Waikato’s last for the year.

Related stories

Building a new knowledge base in the Pacific

Masters’ graduate Riby Tupiti taking a lot of learning from both inside and outside the…

CMAC detonation3

Challenge to save lives in Cambodia

Portia Thompson has been in Cambodia helping develop a national strategy for removing landmines and…

All doom, no gloom

Waikato graduate Shoshana Sachi has cracked Hollywood. She currently writes for TV show Doom Patrol,…

From Chicago law to professional rugby in Scotland, Mungo’s in boots and all

Tauranga law student Mungo Mason may miss his graduation ceremony but it's for a good…

Embracing future-focussed learning

Taumata School in Tauranga advocates the sort of innovative education environment that drew University of…

Tauranga early childhood student’s heart of gold

Tauranga mother of six Charlotte Hartley, who was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Adult Learner’s Award and…

Bittersweet celebration for graduating soulmates

Whanganui River couple, Tim and Maggie Pauro, graduated at Te Kohinga Mārama Marae last week…

Leaving a WSU legacy

Nexus editor Lyam Buchanan and WSU President Candra Pullon both graduated from the University of…

Ko wai au I te Ao, I te Poo?

Getting her Masters degree before 50 was one of many challenges this grad has met.

Dream job, no loan

Next week’s graduation will be special for Golden Jubilee Scholar Anna Caudwell, who will graduate…

Dancing from the heart

December’s graduation ceremony will mark the end of an academic journey and the start of…

Nick Humphries web

Antarctica, a degree and a business too

Nick Humphries, graduating after action-packed study years.