Voters in the 2019 local elections have elected the largest number of new mayors in 30 years! Twenty-six of the new mayors are young and will be wearing the mayoral chains for the first time
Putting young people in charge is a trend reflected also in the record numbers of women and younger candidates joining local bodies across the country.
“The number of new mayors really challenges the narrative that incumbents can pretty much walk back into office,” says LGNZ Principal Policy Advisor Dr Mike Reid.
A preliminary count reveals the number of elected members under 40 years of age has increased by at least a third.
In particular, the cohort under 30 has doubled. At 18 years of age, the youngest is School Strike 4 Climate Organiser and now K?piti Coast District Councillor, Sophie Handford, while Rotorua Lakes and Nelson City voters have each elected a 19-year-old representative on their councils – Fisher Wang and Rohan O’Neill-Stevens.
Early analysis has also revealed an increase in under 40s on rural and regional councils, reflecting increased youth concern around environmental issues and climate change.
“Young people are thinking globally and acting locally, and recognise that standing for and getting involved with council is one of the best ways to make positive change in their communities.”Local Government NZ
We have our youth adjacent Prime Minister and now it looks like we will have some young and inexperienced but “passionate” people on councils making decisions about things like the so-called Climate Emergency. What could possibly go wrong?