Lowering the voting age to 16 year olds in New Zealand

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Voter turnout is on the decline in New Zealand and has been for the last 30 years, this has been shown in the 2014 General Election voter turnout statistics in which only 62.73% of voters in the age bracket of 18-24 voted.

Lowering the voting age to 16 in New Zealand will allow 16 year olds who can legally drive, work, drop out of school, and consent to sex the democratic right to vote and decide the future of our country. There are almost 12,000 16- and 17-year-olds in New Zealand, so they would make a significant voting block. Lowering the voting age 16 will also introduce 16 year olds to the practice of voting and will put youth issues on the political agenda which will challenge political parties to aim their election campaigns and their policies at youth.

We call upon the New Zealand House of Representatives to debate this issue in Parliament so that we can start taking steps toward incorporating 16- and 17-year-olds into politics.