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Future Of Local Government Review Recommends Lowering The Voting Age To 16

Today the Future of Local Government Review released its draft report aimed at reforming local government in Aotearoa. It includes a recommendation to make the voting age 16 for local government elections.

“This sends a strong signal to the Government that a voting age of 16 is the right thing for young people and for local government. The Government should absolutely act on these recommendations” says Make It 16 co-director Caeden Tipler (they/them).

“Right now 16 and 17 year-olds don’t get a say in the buses we take, the public spaces we use, or the roads we drive on. At the same time, local government is facing a crisis of turnout. Those problems have the same solution: to let us vote. We are glad the review agrees.

“16 and 17 year-olds have been demanding the right to vote across the country. Nearly 7,500 people signed our petition to Parliament and 72 local government elected members signed an open letter to support our call. It is time for the Government to listen to the voices of the public, of local government elected members, and of their own experts and make the voting age 16 for local elections.

“It's just not right that landlords who own multiple properties can vote multiple times in council elections, thanks to the ratepayer roll, and yet rangatahi like me cannot vote at all. The Government can create a more inclusive democracy by making the voting age 16 for local elections with just a 51% majority of Parliament. They need to do so this term.

“We are confident that after public submissions the final report will still include this strong recommendation to lower the voting age to 16.”

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