Fears youth won't turn out to vote again

  • 04/05/2017
Voting sign
Wellingtonian youth were most likely to say they'll definitely vote (file)

New research shows up to quarter of young New Zealanders may not vote at the upcoming election.

Almost 700 Kiwis aged 18 to 25 took part in a survey by the Research Association in April. It found 9 percent don't have any intention to vote at all, with another 16 percent unsure if they'll bother.

Research Association chief executive Robert Breesays the number who don't vote will probably end up being even higher.

"In a poll like this we're asking what their intentions are. You might have an intention of getting up tomorrow morning at 7am, and you eventually get up at 7:30am."

Only 63 percent of that age group voted in 2014, and only 66 percent are currently enrolled for this year's election, according to the Electoral Commission.

Only 41 percent have decided who they'll vote for. Mr Bree says young people need more education around voting and better information about how to vote.

"They're actually starved of the information they need to make good quality decisions, which is really, really important.

These are the people who as they get older are going to inherit the country that we've created, right, so it's really, really important they exercise their right to vote and that they know who to vote for."

Wellingtonian youth were most likely to say they'll definitely vote, at 82 percent, and Aucklanders the least, at 72 percent.

Just under half said there was a party that represents youth interests.

To get more people voting, respondents suggested improving the quality of information, online voting, compulsory voting, civics education in schools and having a 'no confidence' voting option.

Turnout at the last election was 76.8 percent. The older the person, the more likely they were to vote, with a slight dropoff after the age of 70.