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PoliticsJanuary 9, 2021

Youth Wings: The election year debate we’ve been waiting for is here


Summer reissue: The stars of Youth Wings brought the banter, and the party slogans, to the Auckland Town Hall earlier this month for a very special election year debate.

First published 25 August, 2020.

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Content warning: contains themes of sexual harassment, which may be distressing to some viewers.

If the six youth wing leaders were feeling nervous about taking part in a debate filmed in front of a lively audience at the Auckland Town Hall, it didn’t show. One by one – or two, in the case of the Young Greens co-convenors – they strode onto the stage projecting what could only be described as an unnerving level of confidence. When they opened their mouths to speak, their political messages came out loud and clear.

“Let’s keep moving,” said Young Labour’s Princes Street chairperson Adam Brand. “Party vote Green,” said Danielle Marks, standing alongside fellow Young Greens co-convenor Matariki Roche. “Act is aspirational,” said Young Act president Felix Poole. “Back your future,” said Young NZ First chairperson Jay McLaren-Harris. “Look,” said Northern Young Nats chairperson Aryana Nafissi, “we need a National government”.

Debate moderator Toby Manhire (also The Spinoff’s editor and co-host of politics podcast Gone By Lunchtime) was also on the stage to keep things moving and ask the big questions. Who’ll be voting to legalise cannabis? What about the euthanasia referendum? Have the Greens been too polite as coalition partners? Why are NZ First polling so low at the moment? Why are Act polling so high? Who’s the current leader of the National Party? What does the “this” in “Let’s do this” mean?

The youth wing members had answers for all of this, and much more.

Youth Wings is made with the support of NZ On Air. Watch all the episodes of Youth Wings here.

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