Pupils uncertain of who to vote for

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Year 13 pupils at the three Oamaru high schools are a bit lost when it comes to election day tomorrow.

Amongst the three schools, there are 78 pupils who will be voting in their first general election. Whether or not they all vote is uncertain, but they are all enrolled.

The Oamaru Mail caught up with some year 13s from each school to discuss the election and see what their thoughts were.

Politics is not really taught at the schools and very little of the election has been discussed, but it is something the pupils feel strongly about.

Waitaki Girls’ High School’s Abbey Chamberlain said many pupils were in the dark about some things.

“A lot of us don’t know the policies each of the parties are offering and that can make it hard to vote.”

Miss Chamberlain, along with the rest of the pupils, would love to see the candidates do more to help them.

“It would make a huge difference to the pupils if the candidates came along to the schools and gave the schools a run-down of their policies and who they are with; I think a lot of the students would vote for them because they took time out to visit,” Waitaki Boys’ High School year 13 pupil James Hobson said.

They agreed that it was highly likely John Key would receive another term as prime minister, and there was a strong belief that the Greens were making some noises in the background and could upset Labour.

“I’m not voting for either National or Labour because they annoy me, but I will vote for one of the smaller parties,” said 18-year-old Nicole Williams, of Waitaki Girls’ High School.

However, according to the pupils, whether or not Waitaki National MP Jacqui Dean is given another term remains to be seen.

Eighteen-year-old Sam Wilson, of Waitaki Boys’ High School, said it might be a closer race than people thought.

“I don’t think it will be as clear-cut as some people think. The Conservatives have a good candidate and Labour’s is strong too.”

St Kevin’s College pupil Danielle Trewavas said she was looking forward to voting.

Meanwhile, according to a University of Victoria study, more than half of New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 did not vote in the last general election.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

DISCUSSION: James Hobson,WBHS, Lucy Tyrrell, SKC, Abbey Chamberlain, Nicole Williams both WGHS, Isaac Graham, Sam Wilson, both WBHS and Danielle Trewavas SKC, talk about who to vote for in the election tomorrow.