Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Young voters wooed with chance to party

Competition aims to get more 18- to 30-year-olds into polling booths.

Tiki Taane. Photo / APN
Tiki Taane. Photo / APN

Politics and young people aren't always the best mix but a competition offering a night with Tiki Taane and a fully catered house party, complete with hangover food and morning-after clean-up, is intended to change that.

The 10-day competition kicked off on Monday and is part of the national RockEnrol campaign aimed at getting young people to vote in September.

It was set up in May by Aucklanders Laura O'Connell-Rapira, Meliesha Platt and Lizzie Sullivan, aged 25, 26 and 24 respectively, and uses "cultural leaders" such as Tiki Taane to promote voter involvement among young people.

Last election, 31 per cent of people aged between 18 and 24 did not enrol to vote. This compared with about 5 per cent for those over 65.

"The idea has been bubbling away in all of our minds since February," Ms O'Connell-Rapira said. "Everyone who's involved is really interested in making politics less boring. Unfortunately, it just is really boring, but it's really, really important."

The trio have also been involved in similar efforts overseas, such as the Canadian Get out the Vote campaign.

"We are very closely modelled to Rock the Vote in the States and we actually recently acquired a licence to open up a New Zealand chapter of Rock the Vote."

The house party prize, which includes having Taane play a one-hour set on the night, will be awarded to the team in the Auckland-region that signs up the most people aged 18 to 30 to vote.

It is set for Saturday, August 9. Food and alcohol will be provided, and a crew will clean up next day. Food for the morning after will also be available.

So far, seven groups have entered the competition, which closes next Wednesday, Ms O'Connell-Rapira said.

Swanson resident Hannah Morris has signed up her three-person flat for the competition.

The 26-year-old social work student, who estimated the group had about 50 pledges already, said she had signed up friends who hadn't enrolled to vote in past elections.

"It's a great initiative. I just entered my flat because we were having a party on that night anyway and it would turn out pretty good if we had Tiki Taane play."

The Block NZ's Shannon Ryan and South Auckland rapper Sid Diamond have also signed up with the RockEnrol campaign.

Link to RockEnrol


- NZ Herald

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