Chloe Swarbrick, 22, fighting to be Auckland's mayor

Chloe Swarbrick
Chloe Swarbrick

Aucklanders had their first chance last night to meet the city's youngest candidate for mayor.

Chloe Swarbrick, 22, is young enough to be the daughter of many of those she's standing against, but sees her age as a strength in a city where the youth vote is hardest to win.

You won't see her face on campaign billboards and she's rarely invited to mayoral debates, but Ms Swarbrick sees herself as a contender for Auckland's top job.

"I do see myself as a serious candidate and a good result would be winning," says Ms Swarbrick.

She's up against big names - and big money.

Phil Goff has 35 years in Parliament and Vic Crone's campaign will cost $500,000.

Ms Swarbrick can't match their pockets or profile, but believes she knows the issues facing Auckland first-hand.

"I have a $43,000 student loan; I don't own a home or a car, so I live in this city in much the same way as many people do," says Ms Swarbrick.

What she does have is a presence on social media and support from those hardest to reach - the young.

"I think she firstly is just really inspiring for a young person. She's incredibly brave and strong to be able to get up there in front of these candidates," said a member of the public Newshub spoke to.

"You have a candidate that starts appealing to young people, doesn't have any money, doesn't have any big interest groups that would back her and is much more open to young people. So I find that extremely appealing," said another.

Fewer than half of 25- to 34-year-olds voted in the last Auckland Council election and less than a third of 18 to 24s.

"That's why I put my hand up - because I didn't feel that anybody really was trying to engage those voters who for some reason or another aren't voting," says Ms Swarbrick.

Auckland is the country's youngest city, with an average age of 35.

So while she lacks the fame and funding of the favourites, the youngest candidate has age on her side.

Newshub.

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