A majority of the 24 candidates for the current East Ward byelection for Hamilton City Council seem to agree on at least one thing - that young people play an important role in the future of the city.
As a group project, Wintec journalism students asked the candidates what they intend to do for young people if they are elected.
One candidate, Kat Waswo, says that people generally think of 'youth' as teenagers or children, but for most corporate entities 'youth' is defined as anyone under the age of 35 - which is the age bracket that covers over 54 per cent of Hamiltonians.
"HCC desperately needs to put young people at the forefront. I would propose more funding dedicated to suburban youth facilities, and a creative arts hub in the city centre.
"Living in Hamilton should be exciting, fun and inspiring – which will also help grow our creative industries," she says.
Candidate Peter Humphreys says he would be keen to discuss with youth representatives what would make Hamilton a city that they would want to live in. "Youth need events and activities for entertainment and stimulation so their view of what is required is crucial. There should be nothing about youth without youth."
Another candidate, Naomi Pocock, says she would engage urban design specialists and citizens in collaborative conversations, like citizens' assemblies. "This will engage youth and other residents as decision makers in our planning process."
Wintec journalism students Kate Durie, Hayley James, Ricky Lam, Tayla Lawrence, Maddy Morris, Riley Thomas and Benjamin Wilson canvassed the candidates to give answers of up to 75 words on two questions on youth issues.
The questions were:
• 1: What is the biggest issue facing youth in Hamilton?
• 2: What would you do to make Hamilton a place young people want to live in?
At deadline time on July 23, responses have been received from 15 of the 24 candidates. In some cases, the candidates' contact details were not complete enough to ensure efforts to contact them had been successful.
The 24 candidates in the race for the Hamilton East seat are: Peter Humphreys, Anna Casey-Cox, Ada Xiao, Christopher Manson, Donna Pokere-Phillips, Chris van der Aa, Ross MacLeod, Anna Smart, Horiana Henderson, Wiremu Puke, Roshni Desai, Riki Manarangi, Pirihira Kaio, Naomi Pocock, Michelle Houghton, Mark Donovan, Lisa Lewis, Kat Waswo, Jennifer Myers, Jack Gielen, Emma Pike, Daniel Pascoe, Colm McKeogh and Chandra Ritesh.
Postal voting runs from July 27 to August 18. The election was called following the death of incumbent Margaret Forsyth in May.
To read the full report from the Wintec students click here.