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by Sam Clark (he/him)


Kia ora e te whānau,

Welcome to Debate’s election issue! Here, you’ll find some great analysis ahead of the big day next weekend, as well as a much needed break from the chaos.

It’s a shame that our top contenders are two middle-aged Pākeha men named Chris. How different can they be? On the face of it, not much aside from the hair. They agreed on a lot during the leaders’ debate, including a mutual admiration for their opponent’s hard work and family values – but they start to diverge on crucial issues like co-governance, climate change and youth offending. Both Chrises bought a house in their early 20s: Luxon tells a story of his humble beginnings, where he had his TV on crates. It’s worth keeping in mind that Luxon’s rental properties now earn him fifteen times more than his salary as opposition leader – including an apartment in Wellington, which he rents back to himself with taxpayer money. Buying a house is much harder for most young kiwis nowadays, who are stoked to find even a short-term rental. As we all know, many of them are not fit to live in.

During election time, I’m often reminded of a quote from Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, “When you're not doing so well, vote for a better life for yourself. If you are doing quite nicely, vote for a better life for others.” This is very useful as we weigh up our options in this crucial election. Another thing to keep in mind is that smaller parties can help push the conversation forward. Having young, optimistic voices in politics can make a huge difference. It’s also important to have wahine Māori, like mayor for Te-Whanganui-a-Tara, Tory Whanau, and Tamatha Paul as possibly the next MP for Wellington Central. There are around 400,000 students in Aotearoa – just imagine the impact our votes could make.

POV I make you the dream burger

And just like that, it’s our last issue for 2023! Thank you to all the wonderful writers and artists who have helped us produce Debate this year, to our talented staff – and lastly all you readers for picking up a copy! This will also be my final issue as editor of this fine publication. It will be left in good hands for 2024, with a brand-new team covering the issues that matter at AUT.

Thank you for having me, lots of aroha and ka kite!


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