Meet the youngest candidate for Auckland Elections
18 August 2019
Meet the youngest candidate for Auckland’s 2019 Local Body Elections, Isaac Mercer
Isaac Mercer, 19, is the youngest candidate for an Auckland Council position in the upcoming elections and is one of the youngest candidates in the history of the Auckland super-city. Isaac is running for a position on the Ōrākei Local Board after seeing first-hand the poor treatment young people get when trying to express their views on local issues. Isaac believes its time young people have a voice, and somewhere to go when they want and need to be heard on local issues
“Unfortunately, the views of younger people are often neglected, despite being those who will live with the impacts of politicians’ decisions today for the longest.” Isaac says, “although there are initiatives across Auckland to promote the youth voice, Ōrākei is lagging far behind the rest of Auckland and it's time for that to change.”
At 19, Isaac has lived in the Ōrākei area his entire life and is currently balancing local politics alongside his Engineering and Commerce studies at the University of Auckland. As a founding member of Youth of Ōrākei, the Ōrākei Youth Council, Isaac is all too aware of issues young people, and the wider community, face in Ōrākei and the role of groups, including the Ōrākei Local Board in addressing them.
Earlier in the year Isaac was at the receiving end of threatening comments and behaviour from community representatives when he expressed concern at the negative comments being made regarding the St Heliers and Mission Bay safety improvements. Isaac suggests “young people should not be met with comments such as ‘you are very silly for speaking up’ when they challenge our representatives for change.” Isaac explains that this is his main motivation for putting his hand up and standing for the Ōrākei Local Board as he doesn’t want young people, or anyone in the community, to be subjected to that behaviour from our representatives when they put their hand up to be heard.
Part of a growing movement, colloquially known as the ‘youthquake,’ Isaac is just one of many young candidates stepping up and challenging the old guard across Auckland and New Zealand as a whole. Isaac says, “It’s time for young people to be taken seriously with more than just platitudes and pizza.” Isaac says he will bring a fresh face for Ōrākei and a new approach to local issues that will persist and benefit future generations, not just serve the next three years.