From rental prices limiting tertiary study options, to the environment and seeing students in poverty.
These were some of the issues 10 Ōtūmoetai College student leaders have raised as their top concerns ahead of the Budget.
Where they will study, and if they will study at all, was strongly impacted by the price of housing in some main centres, they said.
Co-head girl Rose Mayhead said up until this year, she planned to go to Victoria University in Wellington.
However, on looking into it a bit more seriously, she found that she needed to consider other options, such as the University of Waikato, if she was going to be able to afford to rent while studying.
Chase Winder originally planned to study in Auckland but said he was now considering taking a gap year to save some money so he could afford to eat once he was out of the halls and pay rent.
Amy McAulay said some students were not coming to school because of a lack of food or because they were working to help their struggling family.
The school is Decile 7 and did not get government-funded lunches, however, local charity Good Neighbour provides food to the school to give to some students for lunch.
McAulay said the demand has gotten to the point that they couldn't provide food for all who did not have lunch.
She said funding for lunches from the Government for all high schools would help keep students in school.
The students also touched on the need for more counsellors in schools, with one saying mental health needed to be treated with the same urgency as physical health.
The school of 2000 had two counsellors, they said, and students sometimes had to go on a waitlist for weeks for an appointment.
One student said her referral for counselling through ACC outside of school saw her waiting for months for an appointment which was not good enough, in her view, and also needed addressing.
The students were also concerned about the environment.
One of the head boys, Daniel Weiss, said more climate education as well as creating a more climate-resilient infrastructure, including building on land that was more than just above sea level was needed.
Zach Reeder is a lifeguard in Mount Maunganui and said there needed to be funding for ocean clean-ups.
He said the amount of rubbish - including wrapping from buildings, cans, glass, and car parts - was often spotted in the ocean.
He said not only was it killing the marine life, but there had been instances where people swimming had been injured or cut or injured by the debris.