Green Party politician Holly Walker is pushing for students
to get involved in politics. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
University of Otago graduate and Green Party politician
Holly Walker is calling on Dunedin students to get involved in
politics - even if that means signing up to another party.
Ms Walker, who was in town recruiting Green Party members at
Clubs Day on Wednesday, said students - many of whom had just
reached voting age - should choose the party which best
matched their beliefs.
''I would encourage them to think about what their core
beliefs are and look at political parties and see how they
step up against those beliefs.''
Her call to get involved came amid a trend of low voter
turnout - especially among young people.
''That's partly a challenge to us as politicians to make
ourselves relevant and interesting to young people.''
Ms Walker, a former editor of Otago University student
magazine Critic, said she enjoyed coming back to Dunedin.
''I have been coming to O-Week every year since I was
elected. It is a great way to meet students and it's always
nice for me personally, because I spent so much time here.''
Asked if O-Week had changed much since she was a student, she
said: ''I feel older, but apart from that it's very familiar.
I have very distinct memories of coming to clubs day and
signing up for lots of different clubs.''
Speaking halfway through the day she said she was very happy
with the number of people she had signed up to the Green
Party, which attracted a lot of support from young people.
''Our supporters tend to be younger than the average
population and students are a big part of that. ''Our
policies, I think, are very good for students,'' Ms Walker
said, and gave examples.
Among the policies she was pushing at the moment were
reversing the changes to student allowances and improving
rental accommodation, which she said was particularly
relevant to Dunedin students.
''Thinking about some of the places I used to live, some of
them are just shocking.''