Highbury voters want more youth initiatives

By Ripeka Timutimu
  • North Island: West Coast

Today the winners of the Labour Party senior leadership positions were announced. Staunch Labour supporter Rudy Taylor was unsuccessful in taking the Senior Māori Vice-President role from Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta, but what do the locals of Highbury think? Does it matter to them and how can Labour secure their vote?

Highbury local Arthur Tepania says life isn't always an easy ride, and politics isn't really a priority, “A lot of people get hōhā, but like my son said if he doesn't vote he can't complain.”

Gaylene Nepia has spearheaded successful election campaigns for the Hon Tariana Turia, and more recently Mr Adrian Rurawhe.

“If there's a candidate that they know they can trust and stands for the same things as them, then they're more likely to vote for them’ says Mrs Nepia.

Some of the community say it will be a vote for their youth.

Koia Whaturia from Ngāti Porou say Highbury has been suffering over the last 14 years, “Highbury’s been suffering a lot of violence, deaths and murders, and it needs to stop.”

Taiepa Martin wants to see an influx of youth centres “Give the kids more to do, give the kids something to do and the path they want to take up.”

There's no doubt Labour have more work to do for the 2017 election, to secure support of the future generations of voters.