Kids Quiz Mayor And Councillors
Children of Hamilton City Council staff had a special lesson in local government with the city’s Mayor and other Councillors yesterday.
Learning from home while in lockdown featured a 30-minute introduction to politics – Hamilton style - with Mayor Paula Southgate, Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor and Councillor Kesh Naidoo-Rauf via Zoom.
The ‘class’ of 10 were wowed by the mayoral chains and robes, learned about their city and the work of Council, and grilled the politicians on some hot topics.
“The robes are like a big ginormous coat, and there’s some pukeko and cows on the chains’ crest,” said Mayor Southgate. “When you become Mayor, you have a special ceremony, like a school assembly, only better.”
Deputy Mayor Taylor shared what his role involves, and turned the tables on the kids by quizzing them on their favourite animal at Hamilton Zoo and favourite playground.
“I don’t get to wear any chains,” he said. “But I do get to go to lots of events, make speeches, and meet people when Mayor Paula can’t be there.
“I love that part of my job, it’s really fun.”
Deputy Mayor Taylor asked if they knew what Hamilton Gardens was before it was transformed into what it is today.
“Ewww,” they replied, when told it used to be a rubbish dump.
“The cool thing about that is that someone had the idea to turn it into something really good, like Hamilton Gardens,” said Deputy Mayor Taylor. “That’s the kind of thing we [Elected Members] have to do. We have to think of the future. We’re trying to imagine what things will be like in 50 years, when we’re really old.
Ruby, aged 11, asked Mayor Southgate why she wanted to be Mayor.
“I love to represent my city,” Mayor Southgate said. “I wanted to be part of a team that makes Hamilton a really cool place to live.”
Nine-year-old Kaelyn showed her potential future in politics or journalism with a curly question, asking the politicians what they thought Hamilton will be like after lockdown.
“I think it is going to take a little while, but everything will return to how it used to be,” said Councillor Naidoo-Rauf. “Everyone will be going back to school, playgrounds and swimming pools will be re-opening, we just have to be a little bit patient.”
Kaelyn’s mum, Roshanna, said Kaelyn prepared her own questions before the chat.
“Thanks for the opportunity,” she said. “My daughter loved it! Great home-schooling initiative.”
Fellow parent Connie said her son, Gavin, is looking forward to the next chat.
“It was great fun. My son absolutely enjoyed it. He had a few Zoom chats and Facebook livestream fun activities today. He said the kids chat was the BEST!”
The idea for the chat came from staff who are working from home and have children with them.
“We thought it would be cool to give the children of our staff an insight into our organisation and the work Council does to improve the wellbeing of Hamiltonians,” says Communication and Engagement Manager Natalie Palmer, whose two step-daughters took part.
“Ideas like these are a great way the Council can look out for the wellbeing of our staff while we are in lockdown. It was awesome to virtually get together with colleagues who are also parents, show our kids what we do, and connect the Council with some of the next generation of Hamiltonians.”
Other Elected Members will be featured in future editions of the kids and Council chats.