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Who can vote?

If you are 18 years or older, you’re an Aotearoa New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and you’re living in Aotearoa New Zealand, you need to enrol to vote. Voting isn’t compulsory, but enrolling to vote is.

On the flip side, if you're a citizen that hasn't been in the country within the last three years, a permanent resident who hasn't been in the country in the last 12 months, or are in prison at the time of an election, then you can’t enrol or vote.

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How do I enrol to vote?

Enrolling to vote is a pretty simple process, and can be done entirely from your smartphone. You can even enrol to vote in advance of your 18th birthday by one year - when you turn 17. This is called provisionally enrolling, which will mean you’ll automatically be enrolled to vote on your 18th birthday.

To get yourself enrolled, visit the Electoral Commission’s website.

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How do I enrol if I’m Māori and I want to be on the Māori Roll?

If you are Māori, you can choose to enrol on the Māori Roll or the General Roll. Your choice determines the candidates you will choose to vote from. You make this choice when you enrol to vote for the first time, although you can switch during the next Māori Electoral Option if you change your mind.

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Why should I care?

Voting may not seem like the easiest or most convenient thing to do on your weekend, but it makes a big difference. The government impacts what life in Aotearoa New Zealand looks like – and your vote is a powerful way to shape that picture.

If you're stuck on who you should be voting for and why it really is so important, reading our article below is a good way to get started.

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Key websites

  • Electoral Commission: The Electoral Commission is responsible for the administration of parliamentary elections and has a whole heap of information about voting on their website.