Youth leaders' opinions on New Zealand's most pressing issues

Youth leaders have debated some of the most important issues to Kiwis.

Labour candidate Estefania Muller Pallarès, Young Nats vice president Jared Pullar, Te Pāti Māori candidate Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, Young Greens co-leader Caeden Tipler and Young ACT president Ollie Murphy joined Newshub Nation co-host Simon Shepherd to discuss some of the country's most pressing topics.

Here are some of their answers below:

What is one political policy you would change to tempt Kiwis to stay in NZ?

"Lower taxes," Murphy said.

"I don't think there is one catch or solution for something that is so complex but some policies the Green Party have proposed like the Income Guarantee will help keep people like students in Aotearoa because it will make it more affordable to study," Tipler said.

"Te Pāti Māori's 15 percent GST off fruit and vegetables. We can't even get the basic necessities for a person to survive in Aotearoa," Maipi-Clarke said.

"More money in their back pocket would be a great thing to start with but also [the] cost of living pressures that have been inflicted on us by the Government - they need to stop the wasteful spending," Pullar said.

"There's a multitude of things that play into those decisions and if anyone has a reason to leave it's people like me. Half my family is on the other side of the world but I think it's a beautiful place to be," Muller Pallarès said.

Number one climate change priority? 

"I think it's making sure we are investing in public transport not high emission roading projects. The Government said money doesn't grow on trees - apparently, it grows on roads," Tipler said.

"I think National's policy of electrifying NZ is a great example of actually unlocking renewals, cutting red tape and getting the sector into a position that they can build renewable energy," Pullar said.

"It's the human change that we need to do and we need to implement mātauranga Māori strategies [and] advisories… With the recent events with the floods in Napier, we saw, and it may sound crazy to some, but there were tohu and signals in the sky that could predict that before any weather or horticulturist or scientist can give us. That's the layer that we need to add within our Government," Maipi-Clarke said.

"The establishment of the Climate Change Commission, an independent group that gives Government advice… I think that the framework is foundational for all the work that we have to do," Muller Pallarès said.

"ACT would set our ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) with our top five trading partners so while we are doing our bit we can actually focus on growing our economy so we can afford the technological shift that needs to happen… The reality is if our top trading partners, the largest emitters in the world, don't do anything then nothing we can do will help that. The best thing we can focus on is developing our technology, things like GMOs (genetically modified organisms)," Murphy said.

"[Labour] have taken action. This is the second year consecutively that we have seen carbon emissions nationally drop so what we are doing is working and we've got to keep on the path that we are on," Muller Pallarès said.

Is the wealth gap in New Zealand acceptable?

"I think there are a lot of areas that we can approve to make sure that there is greater prosperity for New Zealand as a whole," Pullar said.

"There is a lot of tall poppy syndrome in this country. We shouldn't be against successful people. We need to encourage everyone to be uplifted," Murphy said.

"Within Te Pāti Māori's tax policy that's just been released, 98 percent of all Kiwis in Aotearoa will gain some money because, for us, how can 2 percent of the wealthiest people getting an average of $2.6 million only pay 9.4 percent?" Maipi-Clarke said.

"We have outlined how a wealth tax can increase prosperity for the vast majority of New Zealanders through tax cuts for most New Zealanders and projects like free public transport and free dental," Tipler said.

"We will be releasing our tax policies soon so I am not going to give away too much but what I will say is we do take that into account and we raised the top tax rate to 39 percent, which brings in $800 million a year. We also changed the way that we tax trusts - so we are working to close that gap," Muller Pallarès said.

Watch the full Newshub Nation youth leaders' debate above.

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