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Labour Targets First Time Voters

Labour Targets First Time Voters

Labour has selected Young Labour Vice President Arena Williams to contest the seat of Hunua at the General Election on 20 September this year. At 24 she is Labour’s youngest candidate.

Ms Williams lives in the Franklin district and works in commercial banking in South Auckland. She is of Ngai Tahu and Aitanga-a-Mahaki descent.

She has completed degrees in law and commerce at the University of Auckland where she was President of the Auckland University Students’ Association and a member of the University Council.

“I’m humbled to be chosen by Labour members in Hunua to lead an energetic and youthful campaign” Ms Williams says.

“I’m constantly being told that young people aren’t interested in politics. That’s not true. We want honesty and action from the people who represent us. I’m working with young people, locally and nationally, to develop a strategy to talk to first time voters on their terms.”

Tim Barnett, General Secretary of the Labour Party, says that Arena’s selection demonstrates fresh talent within the Party.

“Arena is part of a new generation of young, smart, activists working within the Party and organising in our communities. Arena’s experience and drive will bring Labour’s modern message to Hunua and highlight important local issues.”

Ms Williams wants to see Hunua’s rising living costs on the election agenda.

"Young families out our way are working hard but the cost of living is rising too fast. With higher power bills and interest rate hikes coming fast around the corner, families are struggling to stay afloat. That’s not acceptable. We must do better, and Labour will.”

Labour’s campaign in Hunua will draw on networks of young people and pilot new techniques.

“We’ve seen the positive effect of viral video and social media in campaigns like the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election,” says Ms Williams.

“It’s a useful tool but we’re swamped with online messages. We must improve the way we talk face to face. Being able to listen will be the key to genuine engagement with young voters.”


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