As it happened: First Young Voters Debate tackles youth suicide, climate change and unachievable home ownership

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TVNZ and University of Auckland hosted the first Young Voters Debate tonight.

Recap 1 NEWS NOWS' live updates from the 90 minutes debate, featuring MPs and candidates from National, Labour, Green Party, Maori Party, ACT, United Future and New Zealand First. 

 

The Green candidate compared inaction on climate change to a faithful relationship but still having Tinder.
Source: 1 NEWS

9.02pm: Should civics be taught in schools? Damian Light says yes absolutely. Seymour says there shouldn't - the odd man out. Chris from National, Kris form Labour, Carrie from Maori, and Darroch from NZ First all say yes, civics should be taught in schools. That's it, Jack ends will a call to young people to go out and vote, to end the first ever Young Voters Debate in a NZ election.

9.00pm: How to raise the youth voting rate? Chris from National says a "culture change" is needed, saying he goes and talk to kids in schools about the decisions he makes in parliament. But is it in Chris' interest to have more young people vote considering youth voters are more aligned with Greens and Labour? He's non committal, but re-stresses kids need to be engaged in politics.

8.57pm: Chloe says there should be a universal basic income to help with superannuation. Seymour from ACT says raising the super age to 67 is the way to go from 2020, not in 20 years time.

8.56pm: One young man asks Labour's Kris why has his party not committed to raising the super age, leaving a burden on his generation. Kris says many Maori people in regions he visits don't even make it to 65, so he doesn't want to make it harder for those who do make it to 65.

8.55pm: Going back to the crowd, three young people say they have had their minds up over voting for some time. One young woman said the debate tonight has influenced her vote. A vote of confidence for the Greens from one woman.

8:51pm: Damian from United Future says we should legalise cannabis absolutely, saying its use is low risk, and the cost of imprisonment from cannabis related crime is a huge burden, and it doest help the users themselves.

The National MP said it was one of the most important issues for young people in the coming decades
Source: 1 NEWS

8.50pm: Carrie from the Maori party challenges Darroch about NZ First's cut to immigration, asking who will perform jobs in a range of fields, such as dairy farming, before the current NZ workforce is upskilled to cope with any cut to immigration.

8.48pm: Darroch Ball from NZ First says his party is not "anti immigration" but they would only allow 10 to 15 thousand migrants into the country each year. Saying there are too many low skilled migrants coming into the country.

8.45pm: Chloe says tax payers are currently paying for cleaning up our rivers, and farmers need to develop lower impact farming and pay for the water they use. She says the Greens would work with farmers to determine what would be the correct tax to put on water. Chloe says all the money raised through a water tax would go back to NZ farmers.

8.42pm: Who owns water? Chris from National says no one. Chloe says Maori have rights. Seymour says the National party have failed on this over 9 years, but Jacinda Arderns' policy to tax water is crazy. Damian Light says the NZ public own water. Kris from Labour says their tax on water is victim to scaremongering. Kris says people who are polluting NZ waters need to take some responsibility, hence their tax.

8.40pm: Back to the audience. Ravi from the public policy club says there's no reason why NZ can't be a world leader in climate change.  

8.37pm: Chris from National says his party has no carbon neutral target date, saying it definitely won't be possible by 2050, probably not 2100.

8.33pm Chris from National says he doesn't wake up worrying about climate change, but it is a big issue. Chris says Jacinda's line is a "platitude not a policy". Chloe from Greens agrees with the statement form Jacinda.

8.32pm: Is climate change the nuclear free moment of this generation, as Jacinda Ardern said? Darroch from NZ First says "It's very important" sternly, but won't agree it is. 

8:30pm: Damian Light from United Future highlights the rainbow youth are "seriously over represented" among youth depression and suicide stats. Light says schools need better resources to deal with these youth. A friend of his had a child who had to wait five weeks to get professional help for mental issues. He says that's not good enough.

8.28pm: ACT's Seymour says his party would inject another $30 million for community services, such as kids help lines.

8.26pm: Chloe talks about her own personal battle with depression, and says it's very "low" to politicise the issue. She says she gets angry when people say you can't just throw money at the issue, because that suggests there isn't the resources out there to help people. Providing people with the stability of work and housing is essential.

8.22pm: Carrie from the Maori Party says she has a 15 year old son and his experience of his peers is that most of them are suffering from some sort of depression or anxiety. She says the Maori Party back Labours plan to have a health professional in all NZ schools. Chris from National says it's a "tragedy" NZ has the worst youth suicide rates in the developed world. Chris says the anxiety levels of modern students is unprecedented, but is vague on what their response should be. Chris says "we need to invest in community initiatives", and asks for a cross party working group on youth suicide.  

8.17pm: 90 per cent of young people surveyed by TVNZ for this debate said they want more funding for our hospitals. Given NZ has the worst youth suicide rates in the world, the audience is asked if it is harder to be a young person in NZ today than it was a generation ago? One young woman says there should be councilors in schools to help with youth mental health. Another young woman says people need to "normalise" mental illness and reduce the stigma. One man from the young Nationals says you "can't just throw money at the problem" of mental illness. A young Labour supporter backs his party's plan to have a health professional in every school across the country. 

8.15pm: Chloe says the building in NZ is "too grandiose" and we need to be building more town houses. Kris from Labour says the market is being "left to its own devices" and there is nothing being built at the affordable end, and too much at the top end of the market.

8.14pm: Seymour from ACT says the solution to sub-standard homes is to build more homes and create competition among landlords to "lift their game". Legislation will not work on its own. 

8.09pm: Chris form National says from the 1st of July 2019 it will be illegal to rent a house in NZ without insulation. But is it time for a warrant of fitness compulsory system? Chris from National says no because it will raise rents. Carrie from the Maori Party says a warrant of fitness for rentals is a good idea and a star system would be one way of implementing this.

8.08pm: One young man in the crowd sitting at a table with NZ First banner says it's not fair to let so many immigrants into the country when there is no chance there is going to be homes for them. 

8.07pm: Back to the audience. Billie Jo talks asks the crowd of around a couple of hundered young adults who owns a home, and barely one hand is raised. Jack isn't surprised.

8.06pm: Chloe from Greens says she hasn't given up on owning her own home in Auckland - and that's why shes campaigning for the Greens. This gets a loud cheer from the audience.

8.04pm: Labour is vowing to build 100,000 houses over the next 10 years but is going to reduce immigration. Who is going to build the houses though? Jack asks. Kris from Labour says they will have a special category under their immigration policy to allow skilled migrants to come into NZ.

8.02pm: Chris from National says we have to be careful not to "scapegoat" foreign speculators - they are not the main problem. Darroch from NZ First says the issue is supply and demand and the level of immigration to Auckland is not sustainable.

8.00pm: Chloe form Greens says abolishing the rural urban boundary will help reduce house prices. Chole says there are 35,000 vacant properties in Auckland at the moment because "it makes a lot of sense to speculate at the moment". Chris from National says housing prices doubled under Labour and they've gone up under National as well.

7.58pm: Housing is shaping up a defining issue of this election. Who owns there own home? Only Kris from Labour and Chris from National own their own home. Kris Faafoi officially owned his own home today. A round of applause ensures. 

7.52pm: Should we teach Te Reo Maori in our schools? Everyone agrees. But should it be compulsory? David Seymour disagrees, saying it should be left up to the institutions. If it's compulsory it might make te reo less popular, Seymour says. Carrie from Maori Party disagrees passionately, saying "it's a national language" and kids hearing te reo on TV has helped it grow, and become more popular among kids. Kris from Labour says if we made te reo compulsory tomorrow "we simply wouldn't be able to do it" because there aren't enough teachers. Chris from National agrees there won't be enough teachers to make te reo compulsory.

7.51pm: Talking to the crowd, one medical student says she's in her third year of uni and her debt is almost $50,000. Gasps from the crowd.

7.48pm: David Seymour says Labour's policy to make uni free is the most "insidious" policy they have put up this campaign, and it will lead to a dip in the ranking of NZ uni's because of a lack of funding for them in the future. Initial comments from the crowd from Billie Jo have praised David's comments - he claims he doesn't know them.

7.48pm: Chloe from the Greens says her student loan is $40,000. She only graduated last year.

7.43.pm: Every single candidate on the panel paid for their university degree. National's Chris Bishop says Kiwi youth should have to pay for their uni because the access to a broad range of institutions today makes it unrealistic to make it free for everyone. Labour have pledged the first year of post secondary school education free next year if they get elected. Kris from Labour says "cost is one of the barriers" for some Kiwi's to studying at uni, and making it free will open it up to a section of NZ society not currently in uni.

7.40pm: Top single issue for NZ's youth, Labour's Kris and National's Chris both say youth mental health- so does Damian Light from United Future.  

7:38pm: National's Chris Bishop says tonights 1 NEWS poll with Labout 4 points ahead isn't that worrying because the Newshub poll last week had National 10 points up. Truth somewhere in the middle, Chris says.

7:36pm: Chloe Swarbrick said she voted Greens at 18 and David Seymour voted ACT. Damian Light voted United Future at 18 too. All the candidates have been remarkably consistent over their lives.

7:35pm: Maori Party's Carrie Stoddart Smith said she was a hairdresser at 18 and probably voted Labour. Chris Bishop from National said he voted National at 18, but said he wasn't a young Nat.

7:30pm: And we're underway in the first ever 1NEWS Young Voters debate at Auckland uni. Jack outlines the quick ground rules for the debate. Each of the parties here have an MP in the parliament, or at least 3 per cent in one of the last two polls. To start each of the candidates are having a photo of them at 18 being shown. Darroch Ball from NZ First said he's 35 and voted for NZ First when he was 18 - consistent.

Welcome to 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of the Young Voters Debate between seven young to moderately young candidates from the political parties vying for seats in parliament on September 23.

The hosts of the debate tonight are Jack Tame as mediator, and Billie Jo Ropiha who will roam the invited audience asking questions and seeking comment.

Source: 1 NEWS

7.25pm: The hosts of the debate tonight are Jack Tame as mediator, and Billie Jo Ropiha who will roam the invited audience asking questions and seeking comment. 

The aim of the debate held at the University of Auckland is to angle in on the issues that matter to young voters this election. And the debate begins just 90 minutes after the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll which had Labour on 44 per cent approval rating, leading National by four points on 40 per cent.

7.20pm: The candidates debating tonight:

National's Chris Bishop: a National List MP from the 2014 election.

Labour's Kris Faafoi: MP for Mana since 2010.

Maori Party's Carrie Stoddart-Smith: The Party's first candidate to stand in the Pakuranga electorate.

United Future's Damian Light: New leader of United Future after the resignation of Peter Dunne in August.

New Zealand First's Darroch Ball: a NZ First list MP since 2014. He is the party's youth affairs spokesperson.

Greens' Chloe Swarbrick: Contesting the Maungakiekie electorate. Came third in the 2016 Auckland mayoral race.

ACT's David Seymour: Leader of the ACT Party and MP for Epsom since the 2014.

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