AUTSA elections struggling for candidates

Justin Wong

Student News Reporter


Māori, health science, and North campus students are part of a wider student body that will lose representation on AUT’s student association next year, as more than a third of representative roles go unfilled at this year’s election – the lowest in the past three elections.


Nominations were open for 22 members on the Student Representation Council (SRC) to provide student representation across AUT, and to hold AUTSA’s governance board and the wider organisation to account for students.

Previous AUTSA elections in 2020 saw 103 candidates running for all but one position, while the 2019 elections had 51 candidates and only failed to fill three roles.


Only 20 candidates were nominated at this year’s SRC elections to stand for 15 roles, with some contesting for multiple positions.

There are no candidates for seven roles in this election and they are declared to be vacant.


All are student cohort representatives, including the Māori Affairs and Postgraduate Officers, campus representatives for both North and South campuses, and representatives from the business and law, Te Ara Poutama, and the health and environmental sciences faculties.


Most of the vacant roles saw intense competition in previous elections, with seven people campaigned last year to become the health and environmental science faculty representative, and five were in the 2020 race to represent business, economic and law students.


Contests for the remaining SRC positions are also less competitive than previous years, with only one candidate elected automatically in 2020 and two in 2019.


Eight people have already been automatically elected as the sole candidate in their races this year, including the senior Vice President Academic role by this year’s Design & Creative Technologies (DCT) Faculty Representative, Macauley Cunningham.


At least three uncontested positions, including the Diversity Affairs Officer and the Mature Students Officer, could also become vacant if the only candidate is voted into other roles.


The seven roles that are contested this year also saw a drop in candidate numbers compared to last year, with those running for the DCT faculty representative reduced to two from 14. The City Campus Representative job, which saw 15 people threw their hats in the ring for, only received five candidates this year.


Online voting for the election has started and would close at 5pm on October 1, with results announcing on October 6. AUTSA said all eligible students will receive an email with a link to vote, and those who did not should check their spam inbox, before contacting them to find out how to receive a voting link.




Candidates for AUTSA Elections for 2021


NB Candidates cannot hold two positions. Candidates indicated by * represents candidates preferred role if successful in more than one position


Contested positions

AUTSA President

Ashley Kirkness

Jaskaran Singh

Michael Kanara

Sara Youssef


Vice President, Community

Alex Sun (*)

Zina Abu Ali (*)


City Campus Representative

Alex Sun Eloise

Cameron Smith

James King-Turner (*)

Nanako Ashley Yoshioka-Watters


CSoc Faculty Representative

Nanako Ashley Yoshioka-Watters

Sophie Ratcliffe (*)


DCT Faculty Representative

Alex Sun

Conor Thomas


Rainbow Officer

Harry Chen

Zina Abu Ali


Student Wellbeing Officer

Alana Rae

Nanako Ashley

Yoshioka-Watters

Sophie Ratcliffe

Tanvi Narayan (*)




Automatically elected

Vice President, Academic

Macauley Cunningham


Accomodation Officer, City

Sophie Ratcliffe (*)


Accomodation Officer, North

Khooshi Patel


Disability Affairs Officer

Margaret Fowlie Rastrick


Diversity Affairs Officer

Tanvi Narayan (*)


International Students Affairs Officer

Aashish Kulkurin


Pasifika Affairs Officer

Willy Ili


Mature Students Officer

James King-Turner (*)




No candidate nominated, declared vacant

Business, Economics, and Law Faculty Representative

Health & Environmental Sciences Faculty Representative

Te Ara Poutama Faculty Representative

North Campus Representative

South Campus Representative

Māori Affairs Officer

Postgraduate Affairs Officer