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Democracy needs all of us: Suffrage Day

“Let’s honour the suffragists who fought so hard to get women the vote by making sure we vote in the local body elections,” says Minister for Women Hon Julie Anne Genter.

“The suffragists campaigned for the right to vote so women could have a say in the laws that govern how we live as a society, and to represent policies that affect women,” says Julie Anne Genter.

From this week (20 September) voting documents for council and District Health Boards (DHBs) are delivered to households. Electors can post the documents back as soon as they have voted.

“Voting is one way that people can make their mark on the world around us.

“Our councils make important decisions, but only 38 per cent of elected members in local government are women. In some places, this figure is far lower.

“DHBs are making important decisions about issues like maternity services, sexual and reproductive health, and breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment.

“I’m pleased to see more young people standing for elections and an increasing number of women candidates.

“We need our local bodies to connect with and reflect the many different cultures, viewpoints, and experiences of all New Zealanders. By connecting across society, we can enrich our communities. That is the legacy that the suffragists have given us.

“I urge all New Zealanders to take this opportunity and encourage those around you to vote,” said Julie Anne Genter.

Note: Voting documents are being delivered to households from 20 to 25 September 2019.

People can post their completed voting documents to their electoral officer or vote on polling day, by midday on 12 October 2019.

For more information on DHB elections go to the Ministry’s website: or Local Government New Zealand’s website:

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