Getting youth on a roll
With his sights set on a political career, signing up to the electoral roll was the first step for Tama Toki.
The Auckland Grammar head prefect was one of about 400 year 13 students to enrol when staff from the Electoral Office visited.
Although Tama, 17, won’t be old enough to vote in this year’s election, he’s looking forward to having his say in the next one.
“It’s important to get involved. I would like to pursue politics when I’m older.”
His parents are on the Maori electoral role and are also interested in politics, which helps fuel his interest.
Electoral Office staff visit about 50 schools in central and west Auckland each year, talking to students and signing them up on the role.
“It’s quite well known if people don’t engage when they are 18 and vote in the first election they can, they tend to continue not to engage in adult life,” says registrar of electors Sharon Reece.
She says the Electoral Office usually has a good response from schools.
“We try to get them to see how politics does affect them.”
The central Auckland electorate has the lowest enrolment numbers in the country for people aged between 18 and 30.
Enrol by phoning 0800367-656, texting name and address to 3676, visiting www.elections. org.nz or visiting PostShops.