Penny Garty has just completed her third year of study at the University of Otago, studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting.
Question 1: What three issues facing youth today do you feel particularly strongly about?
1. Global warming and the future population problems we face
2. The world’s growing population and the threat of scarcity of resources
3. The diminishing supply of oil, and the current lack of a viable energy alternative.
Question 2: What changes would you like to make to the way New Zealand is governed?
Obviously a more sustainable focus would be desirable, especially in terms of rebuilding Christchurch. I think there is an opportunity to completely redesign the city and it presents a chance for Kiwi ingenuity to flourish. Otherwise New Zealand faces a major debt crisis as the world economy is not so great right now. So depending on who gets elected I think it is important to get New Zealand out of a deficit as soon as possible before the situation gets worse.
Question 3: What actions, if any, are you planning to contribute to the constitutional review?
I would oppose any suggestion of an entrenched constitution. I think New Zealand’s constitution is unique and desirable as it can grow and be added to. It is flexible and diverse. In my opinion entrenched constitutions become outdated. New Zealand is not the sort of country where citizens need to be able to recite their constitutional rights – I think our constitution is fine the way it is.