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Why should I vote?

Do you care about how much tax you pay? Or have an opinion on the future of the environment? Perhaps you don't think you should be paying so much in course fees? Voting is your opportunity to influence decision making. Casting a vote is your right in a democratic society and can put in power the party that's aligned with your way of thinking. In Aotearoa New Zealand you need to be 18 years old to vote.

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How do I decide who to vote for?

We can give you more information about when, where and how to go about voting, but it’s your personal decision who you want to vote for.

Listen to what the parties and candidates are saying. Follow them on Facebook or visit their websites. Go to their meetings. Find out who you think is going to best represent you and those you care about.

Parliamentary elections - How does MMP work?

MMP stands for Mixed Member Proportional, and it’s the voting system we use in Aotearoa New Zealand to determine who gets a seat in Parliament. What it means is that you get to cast two votes: one for the party you want to lead the Government (called the party vote), and one for the person you want to represent you (called the electorate vote). The number of seats each party gets in Parliament is based on its share of the party vote.

For a more in-depth look, check out the below video on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uk44aykGg4

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The history of MMP

New Zealanders chose to change our voting method to MMP in 1993. Since then there have been many different parties that have been involved in forming a Government. Have a look at the link below to read some history on MMP:

Voting tools

'Policy' is a tool, created for the 2017 elections, that makes it easy to find out about the policies each party has. You can still use the site to 'like' or 'favourite' policies as you browse and see a breakdown of them and your party preferences when you are ready.

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Local elections

Local elections are how we decide who represents us on our city, district and regional councils, and on our district health boards. These elections are held about once every three years, usually in November. You must be enrolled to vote and need to have your address up to date. Elections are held by postal voting.

For some help deciding who to vote for, ‘Vote Local’ does the same thing as 'On the Fence' but for local issues, indicating the local candidate that is closest in opinion to you.

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.
  • Parliament: The website of the Aotearoa New Zealand Parliament is a good resource for learning about the MMP system, the business of Parliament and how you can get involved and have your say.
  • Policy: A tool, created for the 2017 elections, that makes it easy to find out about the policies each party has. You can still use the site to 'like' or 'favourite' policies as you browse and see a breakdown of them and your party preferences when you are ready.
  • Vote Local: This is another simple questionnaire to help determine who is your best candidate standing for local election. The recommendations are only suggestions, so do a little digging to find out who you’ll cast your vote for before heading to the voting box.