Auckland millennials less likely to vote
Young people in central Auckland are less likely to vote than any other electorate in the country.
The Auckland central electorate which includes Ponsonby, Herne Bay, Freeman’s Bay and the Hauraki Gulf islands of Waiheke and Great Barrier, has the lowest enrolment rate out of all general electorates in the country. It also has the lowest enrolment rate for 18 to 24 year olds.
The Electoral Commission wants to increase the enrolment rate before the upcoming general election in September.
Despite having the highest proportion of people aged 20 to 29 out of all general electorates in New Zealand, only about 21 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds are enrolled to vote.
The estimated population in the area is about 76,400 and only 51 per cent of those are enrolled to vote.
The Electoral Commission’s Register of Electors Justine Welsh said the commission wanted young people to know that their vote counts.
Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) president Will Matthews said a key issue driving the lack of enrolment and voting was apathy.
Matthews said voting wasn’t a high priority for a lot of students as they had to concentrate on university studies and working to afford to live in Auckland.
‘‘Students don’t have time to vote.’’
Welsh said young people might struggle to see the relevance of voting to their lives, or they did not know who to vote for.
‘‘Your vote is worth exactly the same as anyone else’s, not matter how old you are,’’ she said.
This week AUSA will team up with the Electoral Commission to target the student population during the university’s politics week.
Matthews said the Politics Carnival was a fun and engaging way to get across the importance of voting to students.
‘‘The purpose is to expose the message to get voting. We’re not telling them who to vote for but to explore all the parties,’’ Matthews said.
Other Auckland electorates had a higher enrolment rate for those aged between 18 to 24 years old. Epsom had 66 per cent, Maungakiekie had 63 per cent, Mt Albert had 56 per cent, Mt Roskill had 64 per cent and Tamaki had 73 per cent voter enrolment for that age bracket.
‘‘Your vote is worth exactly the same as anyone else's, not matter how old you are.’’
The Electroal Comission wants to increase the youth enrolment rate before the general election in September.