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Tauranga youth brew plan to get young people voting

27 September 2019

Tauranga youth brew plan to get young people voting in local body elections

Tauranga’s Youth Advisory Group has brewed a plan to increase youth engagement in the upcoming local body elections on October 12 – by getting the conversation started over a few drinks.

“For a long time boomers have decided how Tauranga is run. We want to change that and get more young people having a say in what happens to the future of our city and the people that live within it,” says Youth Advisory Group spokeperson Louis Donovan.

Tauranga’s Youth Advisory Group, comprised of 15 people aged 16-24 from across Tauranga, has today launched a campaign to increase youth engagement in the upcoming local body elections – ‘Brews to Outvote Boomers’.

A collaboration between Mount Brewing Co., the Bay of Plenty’s craft brewing company, Tauranga’s Youth Advisory Group, and WAVE Creative Communications Agency, ‘Brews to Outvote Boomers’ sees the launch of brews with the call to action to ‘outvote boomers’.

The limited-edition brews - a sparkling non-alcoholic apple lemon & lime, and Mount Brewing Co.’s signature lager ‘Saltwater Blonde’ - will be available from today until October 12 (or until they sell out), from Super Liquor (next to The Rising Tide at 107 Newton Street, Mount Maunganui), and also at a public ‘Party/Vote’ event at Our Place, Tauranga, on October 4.

Complete with real boomer quotes – ‘Your generation can’t take a joke’, ‘Climate change is just scaremongering’, ‘You could afford to buy a house if you stopped buying all those fancy coffees’ and ‘We had a harder time than all those jumped-up spoilt brats’ – sourced from the dark depths of internet comment sections and ‘letters to the editor’ – the brews feature a rallying cry to ‘outvote boomers’.

The Tauranga Youth Advisory Group want to empower young people to vote in this year’s local body election. Voting can feel like a solitary action that goes nowhere, so the Youth Advisory Group are creating a collective feeling around voting. Currently, there are more people under the age of 55 living in Tauranga than those over 55, so if all the younger generations vote, they will outnumber the ‘boomers’.

“Voter turnout across New Zealand for local body elections is generally low - in 2016 it was just 43 percent. We’re hoping that by getting these brews into the social circles of those who should care most about the future of Tauranga, we can increase voter turnout in our city by 5 percent this year. If we all vote, youth outnumber them,” says Youth Advisory Group spokesperson Sam Taylor.

“The current voting system is overwhelming, complicated and old-school. Most young people have never even posted a letter, so the whole concept is foreign to them.”

A specially-designed microsite, outvoteboomers.co.nz, has also been developed to give youth information about how to vote using the Council’s STV system, and showcase this year’s candidates.

Young people (under 30) make up 20 percent of the national voting population, or two in every 10 adults. Yet, less than half of them vote in general elections. Fewer still vote in local elections, and under-30s make up just 2 percent of MPs while more than half of our politicians are baby boomers.

Mount Brewing Co. owner Glenn Meikle says the long-established local brewery was keen to get behind the youth group’s idea as soon as they heard about it.

“Tauranga is a vibrant young city and we wanted to support a talented group of young people driven to make a positive change in the way our city is run,” says Meikle. “We embraced the idea to collaborate and look forward to getting the voting conversation started in Tauranga over a few drinks!”

The drive to outvote boomers doesn’t stop there. To encourage more voter engagement, the Youth Advisory Group is putting on ‘Party/Vote’, a public event at Our Place, Willow Street, Tauranga, on Friday, October 4, starting at 5pm.

The free event will feature music by DJ Kapisi, ‘Brews to Outvote Boomers’ brews for sale, and will also give those who have not enrolled to vote or received voting papers in the mail the chance to cast a special vote at Our Place between 5pm-8pm.

“A single millennial vote can feel small and individual, but a group vote can achieve more, for the greater good. If more of us vote, collectively we can outvote boomers,” Louis says.

© Scoop Media

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