With the 2020 General Election on this weekend, we wanted to hear what students thought was the most important issue this election. Here’s what University of Auckland students said.
Gemma, 21, Postgraduate Arts
“Obviously COVID is very important, but other than that the most important issue to me is sorting out the housing crisis. I’m going to be finished uni soon and hopefully working to save for a house, but what is the point if prices are so high and unattainable. It’s pretty disheartening that neither major party wants to change the nature of our housing market, so I don’t think there’s much chance of things improving any time soon.”
Jacob, 24, Commerce
“Like Jacinda said, it’s a COVID election. We need a clear plan to rebuild our economy. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how big of an issue this was going to be this year and I think that rebuilding from COVID and getting back to a stable way of living is really important, not just for the economy but for our mental health and quality of life.”
Tina, 18, Arts
“COVID-19. It’s a global pandemic affecting our economy, health, jobs, education, events, sports. Whoever gets in, whatever party, is going to have a huge effect on how we recover, and actually how we cope because it’s still happening.”
Anna, 21, Science
“The environment needs to be considered in our COVID recovery. We’ve all seen how the environment has improved around the globe when we were forced into lockdown. How we recover is an opportunity to change the way we treat the environment for the better. It’s a chance to be better than how we were before.”
Maddy, 21, Arts
“The most important thing to me is keeping our communities healthy and safe in the wake of COVID-19. I think privileging anything else over the health of New Zealanders at this time is very foolish and I will be voting in a way that reflects that. Also Vote yes on the Cannabis Referendum”.
Cameron, 21, Arts
“For me, the most crucial issue for this election is the need for our COVID-19 recovery to rebuild New Zealand better and more equitably for all. Our marginalised and disadvantaged communities are struggling and this unprecedented time reflects a new opportunity to alleviate income inequality and do so in a way that makes New Zealand stronger”.
Carlos, 20, Arts
“The most important thing I’m thinking about is the cannabis decision. It’s going to benefit us in so many ways with taxing it, jobs and health benefits if we can get it legalised. I’m a bit worried because young people aren’t likely to vote as much as older generations so we might not get it, but I really hope we can come together and do this for the benefit of society.”