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University candidate forum to address Living Wage, housing

University candidate forum to address Living Wage, housing and jobs

Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand is partnering with the Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) and Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) to host an election forum at 12pm today (Monday 30 September) at the University of Auckland Quad.

Living Wage Aotearoa NZ Spokesperson James Sleep says: “Students and young people need a Council that is prepared to make Auckland the most liveable city in world. Essential to this is an Auckland Council that is prepared to take a lead on implementing a Living Wage, to ensure all Aucklanders can survive and actively participate in their communities. Students and young people also need an Auckland Council that is prepared to address the critical shortage of affordable and decent housing, and the lack of secure jobs and training opportunities.”

Auckland University Students’ Association President Dan Haines says: “Housing is a critical issue for students as increasing house prices force students out of the city. Students are therefore being left to commute long distances to University because they are unable to afford to pay rent.

Haines continues, “Many of them are faced with the heart breaking decision to live in below average conditions or spend more money on food and travel costs. We need a Council that is prepared to step up and address this problem”.

Jobs and training will be another important focus for the forum.

AAAP Spokesperson Sarah Thompson says: “The Auckland Council must be prepared to play an active part in promoting the creation of meaningful, full time employment. The Council should act promptly to enact policies which provide employment opportunities – particularly for those such as Māori, Pacifica and young people who have been hit hardest by the economic crisis. A world class city cannot survive with a growing underclass of working poor, tackling this reality is an urgent challenge for the new Council”.

The forum will take place in the University of Auckland quad between 12.00pm-1.00pm today (Monday 30 September).

ENDS

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The polling booths have closed.

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Counting of these votes began this afternoon and the results are expected by 8.30pm.

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