Voting age and taxpayer-funded campaigns shaping up to be contentious areas of electoral review

Vote at 16, let parties rule for four years, election campaigns funded by the taxpayer - the electoral system is in for a massive shakeup. 

But not too fast - it may not happen until at least the 2029 election, and it'll all need your tick of approval first.

Shaking hands, mall mobbings and tickling babies are all hallmarks of an election. Politicians crawl out of their Beehive bubble once every three years to let you flex your democratic muscles.

But now they only want to do it every four years - and Kiwis Newshub spoke to had mixed reactions about it. 

"It should be at least four or five years," one man told Newshub. 

"I think it's fine the way it is - I want to hurry up and get a new person in," a woman added.

Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has ordered a review of our electoral law, to look at the length of the parliamentary term, funding of political parties, overseas voting, and the voting age.

Faafoi said the aim is to "make our election system clearer, fairer and more modern". 

That could mean we see the voting age lowered to 16 years old, and on that, the political divide is miles wide. 

"The age of being an adult is 18 and that is what we believe is the right age," says National leader Judith Collins. 

Greens co-leader James Shaw disagrees. 

"Sixteen and 17-year-olds can have sex, they can leave home, they can join the army, they can drive," he told Newshub.

"No one has yet explained to me why they don't have the good judgement to be able to choose who to vote for."

After a string of political donation scandals, Faafoi floated the idea of taxpayer-funded campaigning.

"Taxpayer funding makes politics a closed shop where everyone's an insider on the taxpayer's teat," says ACT leader David Seymour. 

Fundamental changes to our electoral system - like the voting age or the length of the parliamentary term - must either be passed by a supermajority in Parliament of 75 percent of MPs voting yes, or if the public vote 'yes' in a referendum. 

A referendum won't be held on this in 2023, meaning these changes may not be in force until after 2029.

There are more pressing issues on the table the Government wants fixed-up lickety-split, like improving the transparency of donations.

"I think we need to shore up confidence in the public around the donation regime," Faafoi said. 

Also, the ability for voters to move more easily between the general roll and Māori rolls. Right now, it can only be done once every five years.

"That's not good enough," says Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi. 

He says it creates a barrier in our democracy. 

"It is the most racist legislation we have in this country. What it does is it blocks Māori from participating," Waititi told Newshub. 

Faafoi acknowledged it's time to "get our skates on to change the legislation in order for that to be in place for the next election". 

Lace up your skates - the ride to electoral reform might get bumpy.