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Viewers Say No to "Teenagers Have Never Had it So Good'


Wednesday 4 December, 2013

Viewers Say No to the Moot ‘Teenagers Have Never Had it So Good’ Tonight On Tv3’s the Vote

Today’s world is full of opportunities for Kiwi teens, but with opportunities come risks.  The world has changed so much in just a generation - how our are teenagers coping with the pressures of modern life?

Tonight Kiwis voted NO to the moot ‘Teenagers have never had it so good’ during national debate programme The Vote, which screened on TV3.

Duncan Garner and the Negative team were declared the winners of the debate at the end of the hour-long show with the votes tallied at 47% YES, 53% NO.

Viewer votes:






47% YES
53% NO

40% YES
60% NO

44% YES
56% NO

48% YES
52% NO

47% YES
53% NO

The theatre audience voted before and after the debate.  The results are:

Theatre audience vote – prior to debate

Theatre audience vote – end of debate

36% YES
50% NO

35% YES
63% NO

Dubbed ‘competitive current affairs’, The Vote sees co-hosts Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner each month lead two teams to debate a hot topic, with Linda Clark keeping order as referee.

Tonight a coin toss decided that Guyon led a team arguing FOR the moot.  He was joined by Volunteer Army founder and youth leader, Sam Johnson; Headmaster of Auckland Grammar School, Tim O'Connor; and comedian Guy Williams.

Duncan Garner headed a team AGAINST the moot, with 2013 Billy T Award-winner, comedian Rose Matafeo; Jacinda Ardern, No. 6 in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet and the spokesperson for Children, Corrections, Police and Arts, Culture and Heritage; and Greg Fleming, CEO of the Venn Foundation and founder of the Maxim Institute.

The arguments for:

*   Technology, social media, it is causing huge change. It’s geared to make an impact, and yes we’ve got Roastbusters, yes we’ve got a lot of really serious things that happen but equally there’s a community that bounds around that and makes it good. That by far outweighs some of the negative stuff that goes on, and I’m not at all belittling cyberbullying, I’m not at all belittling a lot of those really serious issues that we’ve got to tackle in New Zealand. – Sam Johnson
*   I think it’s a golden age of opportunity for teenagers today, there’s no doubt about it. They’ve  got more information at their fingertips, they’ve got the internet, medical advances that are occurring technology. It’s all there for them. – Tim O’Connor
*   That dude up there is a social media expert. That used to be called unemployed. They're basically the same thing. I'm a comedian. My dad – not only did he not have the option of being a comedian, he doesn't even know what a comedian is. – Guy Williams
*   I think one of the things that we should all actually recognise is that we’ve always had one percenters in our society. You know, we have people who murder, we have people who rape, we have people who behave badly. Just because it’s now in the public eye because of the internet and that sort of domain doesn’t mean to say we have the other 99% thinking that’s a great idea let’s go out and do it. In fact, the good thing about the Roastbusters campaign is what occurred after it.  The social media that went out there that actually put into place protests in every major city in this country. – Tim O’Connor
*   The 2012 survey is the third survey of secondary school students in new Zealand, big samples, ten thousand students randomly selected across new Zealand studied in our survey, and what we found is a continued decrease in the rates of smoking, drinking, marijuana use, sexual behaviour – just about every concerning behaviour you might want to name, young people in new Zealand have been doing less of it now than they have been. – Peter Watson (expert witness)
*   If teenagers are smoking less, if they're taking fewer drugs, if they're binge drinking less, and if the levels of sexual activity are fairly small, then how can you really argue that it's such a terrible time to be a teenager? – Guyon Espiner
*   You’re looking back to a nostalgic time when women were in the kitchen, and looking after the kids, baking some goods. But no matter how great the ‘80s were, no matter how great the ‘50s were, the point is that in today’s society we’re healthier, we’re smarter, we’re a lot more knowledgeable and a lot more tolerant of other people. – Guy Williams

The arguments against:
·       There’s no denying that it’s always been hard to be a teenager but the difference is that now all the worst bits about being a teenager are broadcast to the world. The little note that used to be in the classroom is now the post on Facebook or, it’s an incredibly hard time to be a teenager. – Jacinda Ardern
·       Living as a teenager today I think the extremes are more extreme and the risks are far riskier… Social media is something that only exacerbates and amplifies those risks. The stats, I mean one in five teenagers in New Zealand have experienced cyber bullying. I think teenagers are vicious and they’re also vulnerable. – Rose Matafeo
·       Parents are becoming less and less sure of their ability to be able to actually give this type of values framework which Tim is correct in saying that is the missing ingredient. So what we’ve now arrived at is that we’re saying to our teenagers hey the great news is, that you can fly anywhere you like, you can be anything you want. The bad news is we’re just not confident in actually giving you any structure. – Greg Fleming
·       When you know that one in five teenagers are suffering from mental health issues, one in five. A lot of this is not good luck or good design, it's just that our teenagers are having to bear the brunt of a really tough environment, and some of them are coming through, but a whole lot aren't. – Jacinda Ardern
·       Well the problem with the Roastbusters, I’m not sure from everything I followed of that story that the 17 year olds knew that what they were doing was actually wrong. And I think that was a vivid and terrifying illustration of how much things have moved since the baby boomers generation. – Greg Fleming
·       This has become the no generation. The generation that won’t have a house, that won’t have stable employment, that are even at this point in time unlikely to even have a pension scheme. - Jacinda Ardern
·       Back in my grandparents' day, if you fulfilled the social contract of working a 40 hour week, no matter what skill level it was at, you could survive. That is just not the case today. – Jacinda Ardern

The full transcript is available at:

The Vote is produced by TV3’s News and Current Affairs division with funding from NZ On Air, and screens once every four weeks in the same timeslot as 3rd Degree.


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