Stuff: Let teenagers vote, it won’t change a thing

Written by Thomas Coughlan, 2 Oct 2019

OPINION: Amid the chaos of last Friday’s Climate Strike, which saw a pack of grown men including the eminently unqualified Mike Hosking and Jeremy Clarkson, rain criticism upon –  wait for it – a 16-year-old Swedish activist, a note of sense was struck by Green MP Golriz Ghahraman.

Ghahraman announced she would be amending her member’s bill to include lowering the voting age to 16. 

It’s a proposal worth listening to. 

Voting is one of our most basic rights and, like all other rights, you have to have a very good reason to limit it. 

Continue reading “Stuff: Let teenagers vote, it won’t change a thing”

Stuff: Voting age should be lowered and civics education is needed in schools, council says

Written by Tina Law, 28 Feb 2020

Sixteen and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote, Christchurch’s civic leaders say. 

The Christchurch City Council has added its voice to a growing campaign to lobby the Government to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16.

The calls have been made in a submission to the Government’s justice committee inquiry into the 2019 local body election. The inquiry aims to address the low voter turnout. The council believes lowering the age will increase the number of young people voting and start the voting habit at a younger age. 

But the lowering of the voting age must be accompanied by a greater focus on teaching civics in schools, it said.

About 41 per cent of Christchurch voters took part in October’s local election, slightly lower than the national average of 42 per cent. 

Continue reading “Stuff: Voting age should be lowered and civics education is needed in schools, council says”

Stuff: If 16-year-olds want to vote, who are we to say no?

Written by Felix Desmarais 05:00, Sep 21 2019

OPINION: I doubt I would agree now with who I would have voted for when I was 16.

I had my convictions then, and they were no more or less righteous or rubbish than they are now I’m 31.

Our opinions, like ourselves, can change. That doesn’t make them less valid at the time.

Continue reading “Stuff: If 16-year-olds want to vote, who are we to say no?”

Stuff: ‘Politics is everything’ – Two teenagers make the case for lowering the voting age

Written by Mair Gibbs, 16, and Ruby Vidgen, 21 Sept 2019

As efforts to lower the voting age gain traction, with the Make it 16 campaign reaching parliament on Friday, Stuff asked two 16 year-olds why they’d like the chance to vote. 

Masterton student Mair Gibbs, 16, would like the chance to have her democratic say.
Masterton student Mair Gibbs, 16, would like the chance to have her democratic say.

Masterton student Mair Gibbs believes many 16 and 17-year-olds have the smarts to make good voting decisions which would only strengthen democracy across society.

OPINION: My generation has an incredibly nihilistic outlook on life. This is prominent in the remarkably high suicide rate, but is also reflected in the voter turnout.

If young people who are eligible to vote do not see a point in doing so, in participating in creating legislature that will ultimately have the greatest impact on them over the longest period of time, then why are no effective steps being taken to address this concerning issue?

Continue reading “Stuff: ‘Politics is everything’ – Two teenagers make the case for lowering the voting age”

Magic Radio: Should we lower the voting age to 16?

Rebecca Matijevich, Make it 16 executive member, talks to Ryan Bridge on extending the voting age.

A campaign launched Friday aims to lower the voting age to 16, the ‘Make it 16’ campaign is testing the right for young people to vote in the High Court.

Campaigner Rebecca Matijevich tells Ryan Bridge, “voting is a fundamental human right, and 16 year olds can choose to leave school, and the family home, work full time, and drive.”

They deserve to have a voice in our democracy.

When responding to critics who argue that alcohol sales are restricted to over 18s Rebecca disagrees with the comparison saying, “having a beer is very recreational when voting is just fundamental human rights.”

Rebecca explains that issues being voted on now by the Government will affect the young the most in the future, using the example of the Carbon Zero 2050 bill which will have long reaching impact for 16 year olds now.

You can watch the full interview above.

RNZ: Teens campaign to lower voting age to 16

Written by Harry Lock, 20 Sept 2019

Back in 1969, Neil Armstrong took the first step on the moon, the Beatles did their last public performance and young New Zealanders had to be 21 to vote.

Polling booths are open for New Zealand's general election in Auckland on September 23, 2017. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP)

Photo: AFP or licensors

But that year, in line with sweeping changes across the world, the voting age was reduced. But where other countries gave 18-year-olds the vote, New Zealand settled on 20.

That stayed the same until 1974, when New Zealand followed the world and reduced it down to 18.

The voting age debate in New Zealand: A History

While any legal movement on the voting age has been static, the debate has been lively!

Continue reading “RNZ: Teens campaign to lower voting age to 16”

Newshub: Children’s Commissioner backs campaign to lower voting age

Written by Anna Bracewell-Worrall, 20 Sept 2019

The Children’s Commissioner is backing a campaign to lower the voting age to 16,  saying grey-haired New Zealanders need to acknowledge young people of today are more aware of the world’s problems.

Ella Flavell has never voted but has been champing at the bit to do so.

“Last election I was thinking ‘dang it – I can’t vote’ because I was engaged with all the issues I thought were important to me’,” she says.

She’s part of a campaign called Make it 16, which is challenging the Government to lower the voting age to 16. And supporters come from across the political spectrum.

Jackson Graham says he’s a member of the ACT Party.

“We have plenty of supporters within Make it 16 that have right-wing views.”

Continue reading “Newshub: Children’s Commissioner backs campaign to lower voting age”

Newshub: Group of young people push Government to drop voting age to 16

Written by Anna Bracewell-Worrall, 19 Sept 2019

A group of young people will challenge the Government in the High Court, arguing that 16 and 17 year olds should have the right to vote.

“We feel like there’s been a breach of rights and it is unjustified… politicians can’t suppress our right to vote at that age,” said Make It 16 spokesperson Lily Stelling.

They want to vote, and are especially motivated to have their say on long-term problems like climate change. 

“The Government’s actions today are going to affect the youth the most,” said Make It 16’s Rebecca Matijevich.

Continue reading “Newshub: Group of young people push Government to drop voting age to 16”