TVNZ Young Voters' Debate sees parties vie for youth support with housing, climate, education policies

Recap TVNZ’s Young Voters' Debate for 2020 as representatives from Labour, National, ACT, the Greens and NZ First go head-to-head on the issues facing younger Kiwis.

Watch it back here on our website. Or, go to 1 NEWS' FacebookYoutube and Twitter pages.

Tonight at 7.30pm on Source: 1 NEWS

8:35pm: That wraps up our live updates for the night.

Missed a part? You can watch the debate here on our website. Or, go to 1 NEWS' FacebookYoutube and Twitter pages.

8.27pm: Tabby, a young voter, shares some words of wisdom to end the night.

"Voting matters if you're unhappy about something ... if not for your sake, then think of the most vulnerable person you know and vote for their best interests."

8.23pm: Hate speech laws 

Labour and the Greens are working on hate speech laws, Allan and Swarbrick says.

"In the way that we talk about hate speech and free speech in a simple binary is really incredibly problematic ... it reduces an incredibly complex issue to a soundbite," Swarbrick says. 

"ACT will always stand for free speech," van Velden says. 

Griffith says hate speech laws wouldn't make things better for the groups it's meant to help. 

8.19pm: Labour has had "re-prioritise" following the pandemic, Allan says of Labour back-tracking on extending fees-free to three years.

But, Allan says she's proud the first-year fees-free policy would reduce students' debt. 

Brown says fees-free didn't increase university participation among low-income families like it was intended to.

8.16pm: Student loans

NZ First will write off student loans if the student works in New Zealand after graduating for as long as their degree lasted, Griffith says. 

Van Velden says policy discussion should be shifted from fees-free - "which obviously hasn't worked" - and more should be invested in young people's choices in high school.

8.13pm: Vote Compass numbers show younger people are more likely than older people to say more should be done on climate change.

Griffith says climate action should be "inclusive of all people in New Zealand" and not leave behind coal and oil workers.

Van Velden is promising a "no-nonsense climate change plan", and include agriculture in the ETS.

8.08pm: Swarbrick says while she wished the Greens could have gone further with climate action while in Government, pricing on agricultural emissions will be in place by 2025

Brown says emissions and coal use was continuing to increase under the recent Government.

8.05pm: Brown says the public housing waiting list has increased under the Labour-led Government. 

He says National wants to repeal the Healthy Homes Standards to tackle the housing supply issue, because the standards were "beyond reasonable".

NZ First wanted to reform the RMA during its time in Government. But because of its coalition partners, it didn't happen, Griffith says.

8.03pm: The cost of renting 

Van Velden says if there were more houses being developed, rent prices would be allowed to come down. 

"So much of people's incomes is going into renting - it didn't used to be like that."

Swarbrick says landlords are waiting for National and ACT to get into power "so they can repeal all of the protections for renters".

7.57pm: The cost of housing

Brown says the RMA and "consenting issues" were some of the root causes of the lack of housing stock in New Zealand.

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National Party’s Simeon Brown took a swing at Labour’s KiwiBuild scheme during tonight’s debate. Source: 1 NEWS

"We're going to burn it" and replace it, he says of the RMA. 

He didn't comment on whether house prices should go up or down. Instead, he says he wants a housing market where supply and demand co-operated.

"[They should] absolutely more affordable," says Allan of house prices. 

She says there's an issue with housing supply.

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‘Stopped more houses being built at Ihumātao than they’ve built’ – National's Simeon Brown targets Labour's housing record

"Stay where they are for now," van Velden says of house prices, but says regulatory frameworks needed to be fixed.

Either wages go up or house prices go down, Griffith says. 

House prices should go down, Swarbrick says. 

Here's RNZ's Katie Scorcher:

7.52pm: Tax cuts should be given to the poor, who will more likely spend it, rather than the rich, Griffith says. 

He says NZ First, among other things, will continue funding the trades and reform the RMA.

7.50pm: Swarbrick says the Greens' policies will prevent further debt down the line because it won't ignore things like inequality and climate change. 

She challenged Brown's assertion that the country couldn't tax its way into prosperity, pointing to the Labour Government after the Great Depression, which introduced the welfare state and top marginal tax rates at 70%. 

7.46pm: Allan says Labour's economic response to the pandemic ensures investment in sustainable futures and jobs for young people. 

Labour's tax policy is "stable" and will ensure certainty for most Kiwis, she says.

Brown says Labour brings "lots of platitudes" instead of a plan.

National will bring stimulus and keep expenditure under control, he said.

"We can't tax our way out of the recession." 

He says National's tax cuts will bring stimulus. 

Brown says stimulus starts from the bottom with businesses, rather than from the top. 

But, Swarbrick says the idea is "the definition of top-down".

7.43pm: Van Velden says ACT will stop asking what the country can't do and ask what it could do as part of its Covid-19 policy. It would also encourage the country to compare itself to Taiwan's excellent Covid-19 response. 

Tame asked van Velden how ACT would relieve the burden of Covid-19 for younger Kiwis.

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Brooke van Velden said the current Government’s Covid-19 economic response was ‘fiscal child abuse’. Source: 1 NEWS

The ACT candidate told Tame the current Government wasn't getting it right and that the current economic response was "fiscal child abuse".

"I think it's disgraceful, it's fiscal child abuse that we're borrowing $140 billion and we're expecting the next generation to pay that back."

Swarbrick says van Velden was saying a typical "ACT party soundbite", and that child poverty "is essentially a way to communicate whānau and family poverty".

7.40pm: Greens' Chlöe Swarbrick says her party has always stood for climate action, social justice and Te Tiriti justice, not just when it's popular.

Tame asked why agricultural emissions were still not included in the Emissions Trading Scheme, despite Greens co-leader James Shaw being the climate change minister.

Swarbrick says the Green Party has done more for the environment than previous Governments.

"As far as the Greens are concerned, it's about bringing farmers around the table."

NZ First’s Robert Griffith says Labour and National have "sold our futures" and inequality will continue to rise under neoliberalism.

Griffith says it's "outright false" that NZ First is a party for Boomers. He says young people will refuse to vote for the major parties because "they keep selling our futures out".

7.35pm: Opening statements and Tame's 'curly questions'

Labour's Kiri Allan says Labour has young people at the forefront of all its decision-making about the Covid-19 response. 

"We aren't afraid to tackle those huge challenges that future generations have before us," Allan says of climate change, housing crisis and the mental health system. 

Tame challenged Allan on Labour's record of delivery. But, Allan said Labour had to pick up a "broken system" when they entered the Government. 

National's Simeon Brown: "Young voters have the most at stake in this election. Covid-19 has impacted us all, but particularly young voters."

Tame asked Brown about National's frequent leadership changes. But, Brown assured National could give the country "strong economic leadership". 

7.30pm: We're live!

Watch here on our website.

Or, go to 1 NEWS' FacebookYoutube and Twitter pages.

7.20pm: Ten minutes left until we go live from the University of Auckland's Fale Pasifika.

Moderator Jack Tame reminding everyone of social distancing rules in the age of Covid-19:

7.15pm: Fifteen minutes to go!

Tonight, TVNZ's Young Voters' debate will be putting the spotlight firmly on the issues our youth care about.

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Gia Hinemaea and Rahman Bashir say they want to hear about climate change, education and freedom of speech. Source: 1 NEWS

For the People's Gia Hinemaea and Rahman Bashir told TVNZ 1’s Breakfast this morning they want to hear about climate change, education and freedom of speech.

However, Bashir said he's yet to hear of any policies from any political parties that will create significant change.

"It's hard because the really transformative policies are progressive and for a lot of people they go 'they're too outside the park and they're far too progressive' but those are the only policies that will enable us to grow," he said.

7:00pm: We're 30 minutes away from starting tonight's debate!

Here's our TVNZ team getting ready:

The debate will be live streamed from 7:30pm on NEWS' FacebookYoutube and Twitter pages.

6.50pm: While tonight's candidates will focus their efforts on debating the issues that matter to young Kiwis, there’s some uncertainty for the youth vote this year. In July, when the election was still scheduled for September, only 61% of people under 24 enrolled to vote.

But, the postponed election date has seen 5000 more young people eligible to vote, according to Stats NZ. 

Wellington teen Gina Dao-McLay told 1 NEWS in August she was ecstatic about the new date because it meant she could vote. 

"We should be able to have a say about issues which affect us like climate change. We are being overlooked in decisions being made."

Electoral Commission data from 2017 shows 69% of enrolled voters aged between 18 to 24 voted. For those between 25 to 29, it was only 67.6%. 

In comparison, for those aged between 65 to 69, 88.2% of enrolled voters turned up to the polling booth.  

6.30pm: A number of reactions to tonight's poll.

Here's David Farrar, blogger and pollster for Curia, which does internal polling for National:

Lawyer and blogger Graeme Edgeler:

And BusinessDesk editor Pattrick Smellie:

6.11pm: What can we expect in tonight's debate?

1 NEWS political reporter and host of tonight's debate Maiki Sharman says candidates will be debating the neconomy, the environment and the Covid-19 recovery - the top three issues concerning young voters according to TVNz's Vote Compass tool.

Host Jack Tame, who also moderated the 2017 Young Voters' Debate, says if past experience was anything to go by, people could expect "robust" debate that could be "a little bit loose".  

6.08pm: 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay says this week will be "high-stakes" as advanced voting opens this weekend. 

She says the bump in National's polling wasn't enough so close to the election. 

"It needs to get more traction if it wants to have any hope of forming a Government with ACT," Mutch McKay says.

Parties could still contend for the 11% of people in the poll who said they were undecided or didn't want to say who they were voting for, she says.

6:04pm: And to the preferred Prime Minister numbers.

1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, 28 September - preferred PM rankings. Source: 1 NEWS

National leader Judith Collins has risen in the preferred Prime Minister rankings, lifting her up to her highest result since becoming leader. But she is still significantly behind Labour’s Jacinda Ardern.

Read the full story here.

6:03pm: To the minor parties now.

read more
Sep 28 poll: Labour and Greens in driving seat, but ACT still strong

ACT’s support has increased by 1% from last week, and they’re now polling at 8%. This could give the party 10 MPs if these results were reflected at the election.

The Greens are up 1% too, now at 7%.

NZ First has dropped even further, now sliding down to just 1%.

6:01pm: With 19 days to go until the election, Labour has slipped from the comfort of being able to govern alone, dropping down 1% to 47% from last week’s poll.

1 News Colmar Brunton party vote results, 28 September. Source: 1 NEWS

This means it would have only 59 seats in Parliament - not enough to govern alone if the results were reflected at next month’s election.

National has managed to pull itself up to 33%, up 2% from last week’s poll, but is still trailing by a sizable 14% behind Labour.

Watch 1 NEWS at Six here.

And read the full poll story here.

6:00pm: Here are the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll results.

5:55pm: We’re five minutes away from tonight’s 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.

It’s set to be another big night for politics. Here’s 1 NEWS Online reporter Anna Whyte:

5:30pm: Welcome to tonight’s live updates for TVNZ’s Young Voters' Debate, which will be kicking off at 7.30pm at the University of Auckland.

But before then, tune in to 1 NEWS at Six on TVNZ 1 from 6pm for the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.

Last week saw Labour sitting at 48% for the party vote and National at 31%.

ACT is at 7%, the Greens at 6%, and NZ First at 2%.

Other minor parties have also seen a rise, with New Conservative pulling up to 2%, The Opportunities Party (TOP) gaining ground up to 1%, and Advance NZ making an appearance on 1%.

Watch 1 NEWS at Six here.


TVNZ’s Young Voters' Debate will focus on the issues facing younger Kiwis. 

ACT's Brooke van Velden, Green Party's Chlöe Swarbrick, National's Simeon Brown, Labour's Kiri Allan and Robert Griffith of NZ First. Source: Facebook/Supplied.

The debate will be live streamed on, 1 NEWS' Facebook, Youtube and Twitter pages.

The debate starts at 7.30pm - after the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll results are revealed at 6pm on TVNZ 1. 

Labour's Kiri Allan, National's Simeon Brown, Green Party's Chlöe Swarbrick, ACT's Brooke van Velden and NZ First’s Robert Griffith will take the stage tonight at the University of Auckland.

The debate will be hosted by Q+A's Jack Tame and 1 NEWS' Maiki Sherman.