Hamilton’s mayoral candidates attempt to win over youth


What’s extra punishing than listening to a Jack Gielen​ rap tune?

Reply: listening to a medley of Jack Gielen rap songs.

Gielen, together with Hamilton’s different mayoral hopefuls, visited Rototuna Excessive on Thursday to have their political credentials critiqued by college students. Some within the viewers recognized themselves as first-time voters.

Hamilton's mayoral candidates address students at Rototuna Senior High School.

MARK TAYLOR/STUFF

Hamilton’s mayoral candidates handle college students at Rototuna Senior Excessive College.

The hour-long debate was divided into three 20-minute blocks, with a brand new group of senior college students introduced in firstly of every session.

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For these college students who stayed for all three periods, it meant they bought to listen to the mayoral candidates reply to a wide range of probing questions.  

Mayoral hopeful Jack Gielen delivered his trademark political rap three times to students at Rototuna High.

MARK TAYLOR/STUFF

Mayoral hopeful Jack Gielen delivered his trademark political rap thrice to college students at Rototuna Excessive.

Sadly, it additionally meant they needed to sit by means of three performances of Gielen’s mayoral rap tune.

The musical sideshow, because it invariably does, drew a combination of well mannered applause and well mannered indifference from the viewers.

Gielen’s greatest applause second got here when a scholar requested candidates how they may assist promote mountain biking and biking within the metropolis.

Ignoring the query, Gielen mentioned Hamilton ought to cater extra to the wants of younger motorists.

“We have to have a boy racer strip someplace … so you possibly can categorical your self,” he mentioned to loud cheers.

In distinction, the opposite mayoral candidates spoke of the necessity to present linked-up cyclepaths throughout the town.

Students at Rototuna High put a series of probing questions to Hamilton's mayoral contenders.

MARK TAYLOR/STUFF

College students at Rototuna Excessive put a sequence of probing inquiries to Hamilton’s mayoral contenders.

Candidate James Casson​ favours connecting up the town’s river paths, making a loop from Rototuna to the Hamilton Gardens.

The council’s present system of marking out cyclepaths utilizing damaged inexperienced strains is insufficient, Casson mentioned.

“I do not really feel protected in these locations as a result of automobiles should not mechanically going to bounce off these inexperienced strains and hold you protected. I believe they’re a waste of time,” he mentioned.

In an analogous vein, candidate Louise Hutt mentioned plenty of streets in Hamilton aren’t protected for cyclists to make use of.

“We’ve to do approach higher than that,” she mentioned.

One of many session’s greatest speaking factors got here when scholar Timi Barabas​ requested candidates what their foremost precedence will be if elected mayor.

Andrew King desires to make buses free for everybody outdoors of peak occasions which, he mentioned, will ease site visitors congestion across the metropolis.

Angela O’Leary​ desires to extend individuals’s engagement with council and pledges to revive the council’s youth council in addition to arrange a youth advisory group to take a look at local weather change.

Considered one of Hutt’s foremost aspiration as mayor is to “make Hamilton cool once more”. It will require the town to deal with local weather change and develop up, not out.

“It is a metropolis who truly appears to be like like a metropolis, so having excessive rise residences the place you possibly can dwell within the CBD,” she mentioned.

Lisa Lewis mentioned she’d knock down the disused Founders Theatre and construct an indoor skate park on the positioning.

Presently, the town would not provide plenty of leisure choices for younger individuals, whereas an indoor skate park might accommodate skaters, bmx riders and scooter fanatics, she mentioned.

Considered one of Paula Southgate’s priorities as mayor shall be to offer youth a voice on council.

“I am not calling it a youth council as such in the intervening time, I am calling it a mechanism the place you inform me how we may give greatest voice to your considerations,” Southgate mentioned.

Thursday’s election debate was organised by Tick for Youngsters, a motion centered on participating politicians and the general public in discussions aimed toward bettering the lives of Kiwi kids.