Voting in a general election is a right of all New Zealanders over the age of 18 and for some St. John’s College students they will be taking the opportunity on October 17 this year.
Year 13 student Caden Mouat-Harvey says he will be voting because he believes it is important that he has a say in who the next government is and how their policies align with his beliefs.
Caden has always had a keen interest in politics and was happy that his eighteenth birthday, which was in April this year, fell in an election year.
“Even before this election I had an understanding of the different parties, but probably do need to look a bit more into the policy side of things.”
For Jack Copper, not only is the general election an opportunity to vote, but also to work. The St. John’s Year 13 student will be working for the Electoral Commission as an issuing officer.
“Doing this job essentially gives me a great understanding of how the election works and the benefits of doing so, especially in this day and age. “
Jack, who also turned 18 in April, said that it was important for young people to vote because many of the issues being voted on would affect their lives going forward.
“I believe that it will be critical for us to have our say in our society.”
St John’s College Principal Rob Ferreira says it is important for students who are 18 to be aware that they are eligible to vote in the election.
“We would encourage them to participate in the democratic process.”
The Electoral Commission says that to be eligible to vote, a person has to be 18 years or older, a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and have lived in New Zealand continuously for 12 months or more at some time in their life.
Photo credit: Electoral Commission