Staunchies Put Hats In The Electoral Ring
23rd April 2002
At the Alliance National Council on the weekend not only was Laila Harre, Minister of Youth Affairs, and the second youngest MP in the current Parliament, elected leader of the Alliance, but a number of young candidates were accepted into the candidate pool for the 2002 General Election.
Anna McMartin (aged 26), Sam Huggard (24), and Justin Wilson (25) (all from Dunedin) as well as Julie Fairey (24, from Auckland) joined two other young candidates, Rebecca Matthews (29, already selected for Ohariu-Belmont) and Brendon Lane (30, selected for Mt Roskill). More young Alliance candidates are expected to enter the pool in coming weeks, and be selected for both electorate seats and the party List.
"The Alliance has always had policies that appeal to younger voters, now we have the people to match," said Fairey. "With policies like universal student allowances and an end to the student loan scheme, the Alliance has long appealed to students. But ideas like four weeks annual leave and the abolition of the youth minimum wage are great for young workers too," said Fairey.
"Laila Harré is a refreshing change to the grey suits in Parliament at the moment. She has long encouraged younger members to get involved in the Alliance at every level and has been very supportive of the development of Staunch," said Fairey. "Willie Jackson has also worked hard to involve young Maori and we look forward to working more closely with our new Deputy Leader and Mana Motuhake."
Staunch Alliance is the youth and student wing of the Alliance party. Check out their website: www.staunch.org.nz