Both young and old like to express opinions. Phrases like, ‘back in the day…’, ‘we never had…’ and ‘when I grow up, I want to…’ seem to crop up regularly. I often think about who says these things, who is listening, and what they hear.


OVER THE LAST YEAR, I’VE LOVED READING THE SERIESHOW IT WASIN UNO., and learn­ing what life was like in the Bay and around New Zealand a while back. I know that many peo­ple, myself includ­ed, often just brush over and for­get that our old­er gen­er­a­tions have led some amaz­ing and inter­est­ing lives. We over­look that old peo­ple were once like us mil­len­ni­als. They fol­lowed the lat­est trends (some dude rant­i­ng about his blue suede shoes, appar­ent­ly?!) and made trou­ble like typ­i­cal teenagers.

MMMMAVOCADO ON TOAST 1:3 toast to avo ratio, squeeze of lemon, salt + pep­per. YUM!

THE BABY BOOMERS GREW UP POST-WORLD WAR II, IN A TIME OF HARDSHIP, RATIONING, AND RAPID MODERNISATION. Whilst they start­ed o in tough times, their hard work saw New Zealand pros­per as a nation. They helped the coun­try nd its foot­ing on the world stage and some­how raised 70 mil­lion sheep in the process. On the oth­er side of this divide are us young ones. We’ve grown up hav­ing our world shaped by the inter­net, events like 9/11, and an unhealthy obses­sion with lat­tes and smashed avo­cado on toast. One day, Mil­len­ni­als will move to the far side of the divide and have anoth­er gen­er­a­tion labelling us as the oldies. I might even have a grand­son who has to help me with my self- dri­ving car!

TEENS AND OLD PEOPLE STRUGGLE TO RELATE TO ONE ANOTHER. I HONESTLY FIND IT QUITE HARD TO CONVINCE MYSELF THAT OLD PEOPLE WERE ONCE MY AGE. I don’t think it will ever change because grow­ing up in anoth­er gen­er­a­tion is com­plete­ly di erent from the last one. My grand­ma telling me about peo­ple rationing but­ter is just as hard for me to com­pre­hend as how Net­flix works for her.

HOWEVER WE DO SHARE SOME COMMON GROUND: we both know what it’s like to be mis­un­der­stood, and our opin­ions dis­missed.

NOW THIS WOULDN’T BE A LOUIS DONOVAN COLUMN IF IT WASN’T GIVEN A SPRINKLING OF POLITICS! Young peo­ple are dra­mat­i­cal­ly under­rep­re­sent­ed in coun­cils around New Zealand and in par­lia­ment, while old­er peo­ple are, with­out a doubt, over­rep­re­sent­ed. Should this change? And how can we do that? Polit­i­cal par­ties across the spec­trum need to be tal­ent-spot­ting younger can­di­dates who can bring a di erent side of the sto­ry. They mightn’t have had the expe­ri­ence some feel is required, but there are plen­ty of young peo­ple who have done and seen twice as much as some of our cur­rent sea­soned-career MPs. I believe that younger peo­ple will start to become inter­est­ed in pol­i­tics if the age divide in par­lia­ment is resolved. If polit­i­cal par­ties bring more young peo­ple in, more young peo­ple are like­ly to vote, and take an inter­est in our country’s future. That’ll be good for all of us.

IN THE WORDS OF LUIS BUNUEL: “Age is some­thing that doesn’t mat­ter, unless you’re cheese.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? It doesn’t mat­ter how old you are, I am always up for debate and chat on Face­book @louisdonovanmmc.

Insta­gram: @louis.donovan

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