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Government Withdraws Voting Age Bill

The Coalition Government will not proceed with the previous Government’s plans to lower the voting age to allow 16-year-olds to vote in council elections, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says.

“I have written to the Chairperson of the Justice Committee to inform him that the Government does not intend to support the Electoral (Lowering Voting Age for Local Elections and Polls) Legislation Bill through further parliamentary stages, and requested that the Committee ends consideration of this Bill.

“Ratepayers and residents expect their local councils to be sticking to core business of efficiently and effectively delivering local infrastructure and services.

“Worrying about how to implement a new voting age regime would be a costly distraction for councils who have enough issues to deal with right now. The Coalition Government will not entertain the previous Government’s voting age and is therefore withdrawing the Bill from any further consideration.

“The previous Government proposed lowering of the voting age to 16 but could not provide the public with any convincing reason why. Their plans were without logic and we will not be progressing them.”

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