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Wellington council candidate part of global movement of young women 'standing up and stepping up'


New Zealand has seen a surge in young candidates raring to compete at the 2019 local body elections. 

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We meet some of New Zealand’s young candidates vying for local and regional council seats in the upcoming elections. Source: Q+A

TVNZ1's Q+A looked at how the new generation plan to change politics. 

Victoria Rhodes-Carlin, 21, was spurred to run for the Wellington Regional Council after the 2018 bus debacle. The new system created a myriad of problems when it was rolled out in July, 2018.

She was inspired to run by the likes of US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, climate change activist Greta Thunberg. 

"There's a movement of young women across the world standing up and stepping into leadership positions," she said. 

Local Government NZ President Dave Cull said younger people were telling him they were interested more in issues rather than personalities. 

"Given the interest that young people have and their concern about climate change, I think this is incentivising a cohort to put their hand up and say, 'we need to be involved in this'."

"Councils ought to reflect the communities they serve, so diversity in all its forms is really healthy."

Just six per cent of local body politicians are under 40. 

In 2016, Josh Chandulal-Mackay was the youngest elected councillor at 19. 

"The difficulty with local government is its not just one or two meetings a month, it's an incredibly extensive role. Unless you're a business owner or someone with an incredible amount of flexibility in your working life, you simply don't have the time."

Q+A is on TVNZ1 on Mondays at 9.30pm, and the episode is then available on TVNZ OnDemand and as a podcast in all the usual places.