With just hours left until the votes are counted there was still time for healthy debate as candidates from local electorates paid a visit to Rotorua Girls High School.
Things got a little heated when student Taini Tomoana asked how best to deal with the foreshore and seabed issues.
Māori Party candidate Rawiri Waititi said the Foreshore and Seabed Act took away every right that Māori had to their foreshore and seabed.
"Every right was extinguished," he said.
National Party MP Todd McClay then explained the Labour Party got it wrong with the foreshore and seabed.
"Hundreds of thousands of people marched upon Parliament," he said. "A law was put through that was harmful to New Zealand."
Labour Party candidate Claire Mahon asked the audience to not judge the current Labour Party by previous generations of it.
"Those are different people and a different party," she said.
She then explained the role National's leader of the time, Don Brash, had in stirring up opposition to Treaty obligations.
"I'm a little bit ignorant on the full history," admitted the Opportunities Party's Tauranga candidate Andrew Caie. "I was a lot more of an ignorant young white kid. But we do have a wicked wai ora policy where we want to address some of the issues that have gone on in the past and work in partnership with Māori."
The candidates were also asked to navigate the difficult territory of human rights.
McClay said leaders needed to stand up for the rights of others and speak up for them.
"If you see an injustice, use your voice," he said.
Mahon said racism was not an issue society had managed to get rid of.
"In the same way that discrimination against women is unfortunately not an issue that we've done away with," she said.
Waititi saved his best for last.
"The whole system is racist!" he said. "That's why we need an independent Māori voice to ensure that we push back at the system."
Caie told the assembled students that one of the biggest solutions is education. We need te Tiriti and civics generally taught in our schools. At a far better level than they typically are."
Perhaps he doesn't include Rotorua Girls High in that statement, given their invitation to politicians to address senior students.
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