Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Donald Trump used to attract younger Tauranga voters

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Chamber of Commerce's Anne Pankhurst has helped organise a meeting that will be hosted by 'Donald Trump' in effort to engage with younger people more. Photo/Andrew Warner
Chamber of Commerce's Anne Pankhurst has helped organise a meeting that will be hosted by 'Donald Trump' in effort to engage with younger people more. Photo/Andrew Warner

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump is being used to lure younger Tauranga voters to a Meet the Candidates evening next week.

Tauranga group Young People in Business (LINKT) and the Chamber of Commerce have set up the free evening on Thursday for people to get to know the city's mayoral candidates ahead of this year's local body elections. The evening is also supported by the Bay of Plenty Times.

To help make local body politics more interesting to younger would-be voters, Tauranga city councillor Matt Cowley will dress up as Trump and will impersonate the man for the evening.

''It's going to take more of a fun, light-hearted approach to meet you candidates,'' Chamber of Commerce's Anne Pankhurst said.

Read more: Councillors accused of hiding behind closed meetings

''We suggested Donald Trump to interview the candidates rather than a regular somebody.''

The mayoral candidates will be quizzed on what they plan to offer the city, if elected, before the evening is handed over to a Q&A session with the audience.

Traditionally, younger people were under represented when it came to voting in elections.

In 2014's general elections, Tauranga voters aged 18-24 and 25-29 had the highest number of people not voting - respectively 44.17 per cent and 40.48 per cent of the age groups did not vote.

By comparison, 13 per cent of people aged 60-64 and 9.75 per cent of those aged 65-69 did not vote.

''I think it's critical that we engage with younger people,'' Ms Pankhurst said.

"It's their future. The council is making decisions about the place they want to live in for the rest of their lives."

Trump vs candidates


What: Meet the candidates evening, hosted by "Donald Trump"
Where: Mauao Performing Arts Centre
When: Thursday, September 15, 5pm
Who: Open to anyone, aimed for young people
Cost: Free

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