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Politicians agree: overseas Kiwis should vote

25 September 2008

Media release
Ivan Moss, Chief Executive, Kea New Zealand

For immediate publication

Politicians agree: overseas Kiwis should vote

As Parliament breaks up for the election campaign, the nation’s political leaders have united to encourage overseas New Zealanders to vote in the November election.

“Whatever disharmony there is among the parties, our political leaders agree that they want the whole electorate to decide the election,” says Ivan Moss, Chief Executive of Kea New Zealand, the country’s most active overseas network.

The whole electorate includes hundreds of thousands of overseas-based New Zealanders who are currently in danger of disenfranchisement.

Only about 10% of eligible voters overseas are enrolled for this year’s election. In 2005, only 28,000 voted from overseas of the estimated 500,000 who are eligible.

“It is extraordinary and gratifying that the leaders of 17 of the country’s 20 registered political parties have endorsed our call for Kiwis overseas to enrol and vote.

“It’s now up to New Zealanders around the country to contact their friends and relations overseas and make sure they know about their right to vote,” Ivan Moss says.

The website www.everyvotecounts.co.nz has all the information overseas Kiwis need to enrol and vote.

Among the reasons party leaders cite for overseas Kiwis to vote:

- to “preserve what is special about our country” (Labour’s Helen Clark)
- because “you have valuable skills and experience that can help New Zealand make the most of the opportunities to come” (National’s John Key)
- to ensure “that New Zealand is the way you want it upon your return” (NZ First’s Winston Peters)
- because of “the things that are important to you, and what sort of New Zealand you would like to return to” (the Green Party)
- because “politics influences everything from the tax we pay on food to whether a hospital should stay open” (the Maori Party’s Tariana Turia)
- because “you are a proud and passionate Kiwi who cares about your country and its future” (United Future’s Peter Dunne)
- because “New Zealand should be a vibrant, prosperous country” (ACT’s Rodney Hide)
- to support “logical and practical” approaches to “care for people and your country” (the Progressive Party’s Jim Anderton).

New Zealand citizens are eligible to vote from anywhere in the world if they have been in New Zealand at any time in three years before election day.

Enrolling and voting from overseas is simple. Eligible voters can enrol online and download their voting papers online, and return the paperwork by fax or post. There is no need to visit an Embassy or Consulate to enrol and vote.

The encouragement for overseas voters comes in statements from 17 party leaders, gathered by Kea New Zealand and published as Parliament rises for the General Election campaign.

Every Vote Counts is an initiative of Kea New Zealand (www.keanewzealand.com), an independent, non-government, non-profit Incorporated Society dedicated to encouraging overseas New Zealanders to maintain and deepen their connections with home.

The Every Vote Counts campaign is strictly non-partisan, and does not advocate that overseas New Zealanders vote for any particular political party or candidate, nor hold or act on any particular political opinion. No public funds are being used to support Every Vote Counts.


For interviews and for more information:

Ivan Moss
Chief Executive, Kea New Zealand
Cell: +64 21 417 025

Statements from Party Leaders

Parties in Parliament
Labour Party Kiwis I meet overseas are enthusiastic to know what’s happening back home, and offer a useful perspective on how our quality of life and strong economy compare to other nations. I encourage everyone to enrol, make their vote count, and preserve what is special about our country.
- Helen Clark, Leader, Labour Party
National Party Over the coming generation the world will see unprecedented growth, driven primarily out of Asia and India. New Zealand is perfectly placed to seize those. Nearly one fifth of Kiwis live overseas; you have valuable skills and experience that can help New Zealand make the most of the opportunities to come. For New Zealand to rise to the challenges of the 21st Century we need all Kiwis to participate this November and choose a brighter future.
- John Key, Leader, National Party
New Zealand First New Zealand First encourages all New Zealanders living away from home to both enrol and vote in this year’s election. It is your best chance of ensuring that New Zealand is the way you want it upon your return.
–Winston Peters, Leader, New Zealand First
Green Party When you vote, think about the things that are important to you, and what sort of New Zealand you would like to return to. We're the only party with a plan for how we can live well without it costing the Earth. New Zealand urgently needs more Green MPs. The change we need is Green.
- Green Party of Aoteroa New Zealand
Māori Party Politics influences everything from the tax we pay on food to whether a hospital should stay open or not. Aotearoa needs to hear from you! Enrol, vote, and have a say about the land you call home. Kia kaha koutou.
- Tariana Turia, Co-Leader, Maori Party
United Future Wherever you are, or whatever you think, if you are a proud and passionate Kiwi who cares about your country and its future, I encourage you to enrol and vote in the election on November 8th.
- Peter Dunne, Leader, UnitedFuture New Zealand
ACT New Zealand New Zealand should be a vibrant, prosperous country. ACT New Zealand wants a New Zealand you want to live in. We want you back. Please make sure you vote in this election - your country depends on it.
- Rodney Hide, Leader, ACT New Zealand
Progressive Party The Progressive Party stands for the Strength to Care. You've got to be logical and practical and you've got to have the inner strength to care for people and your country. I urge you to vote in the election.
- Jim Anderton, Leader, Progressive Party

Parties outside Parliament

Alliance Party The Alliance urges all New Zealanders overseas to enrol and vote. There's a lot at stake. Every vote will make a difference. Help make New Zealand a place you'd want to come back to.

- Kay Murray, Co-Leader, Alliance Party
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party We are offering New Zealand citizens an opportunity to send a message to the next New Zealand government to move forward on cannabis law reform and follow up on the two Government Select Committees of 1998 and 2001 -2003 recommendations to “review the legal status of cannabis." If you are fed up with everyone else - give us your protest vote.

- Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Executive
Bill and Ben Party The Bill and Ben party wholly endorse expatriates to register and vote in this year's election - otherwise New Zealand's stupid people may elect us!

Bill and Ben, Co-Leaders, The Bill and Ben Party
Democrats for Social Credit Democrats for Social Credit is a political party with a plan: the rejection of New Zealand’s debt-based financial system in favour of a programme of contemporary social credit monetary reform. It’s a plan of new economics for a modern New Zealand society.

- Stephnie de Ruyter, Leader, Democrats for Social Credit
Direct Democracy Party You may be overseas at the time of the New Zealand General Election, but if you have the right to vote the Direct Democracy Party believes that this is an opportunity not to be missed. Now is your chance.

- Mike Francis-Roberson, President, Direct Democracy Party of NZ
Family Party Kia ora, Kiwis abroad. My name is Richard Lewis, leader of the Family Party. You might be away but I know your heart will always be at home. So please cast your vote at the 2008 General Election. It's important.

- Richard Lewis, Leader, The Family Party
Kiwi Party The Kiwi Party is committed to a change of government and bringing New Zealanders' voice back into Parliament. Kiwis are known all over the world for their integrity and hard work. Make it true at home - have your say and vote!

- Larry Baldock, Leader, The Kiwi Party
Republic of New Zealand Party Active participatory democracy is the only way to achieve the goals of social and economic equity. To have your say you need to ensure that you are enrolled to vote. All Kiwis must ensure that they are enrolled.

- The Republic of New Zealand Party
Residents Actions Movement The Residents Action Movement (RAM) wants to lure Kiwis back home with tax cuts, GST-off-food and low interest home loans (more policies at www.ram.org.nz). … For real change, vote RAM.

- Oliver Woods, Candidates Co-Leader, Residents Actions Movement

Libertarianz No response
New World Order Unable to contact
NZ Pacific Party No response

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