First-time vot­ers keen to have a say

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

It’s elec­tion year and that means on top stress­ing about ex­ams, many 18-year-olds are de­cid­ing whether to vote, and who for.

About 10,100 New Zealand year 13 stu­dents will be 18 and able to vote by polling day on Septem­ber 20.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion re­cently vis­ited Porirua Col­lege to give stu­dents the ins and outs of voting.

Kape­teni Po­lutea, 18, said he was look­ing for­ward to voting for the first time.

‘‘I want to make a change to our en­vi­ron­ment,’’ he said.

He said it was im­por­tant young people voted be­cause they had dif­fer­ent con­cerns than adults.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant for us to vote be­cause we are the fu­ture of this coun­try, the ones who will make a change in this world.’’

While her class­mates were ea­ger to vote, Ngarangi David said she would not be voting this year.

‘‘I didn’t re­ally think about it much. Maybe in the fu­ture it will be more im­por­tant to me,’’ she said.

She said she might change her mind by elec­tion day, but would vote when she was older. Be­ing en­rolled gives you the op­por­tu­nity to vote in the elec­tion on Satur­day, Septem­ber 20. If you are not en­rolled all you need to do is fill in an en­rol­ment form, avail­able at the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bureau or any New Zealand Post Shop. You can also phone 0800 367 656 or print one from the web­site: elec­tions.org.nz/.

Age: 18. Are you voting in Septem­ber? Yes. ‘‘It’s im­por­tant for us to vote.’’ Who has your vote? Na­tional Would you pre­fer on­line voting or a polling sta­tion? On­line.

Age: 18. Are you voting in Septem­ber? Def­i­nitely. ‘‘I wanted to have a say. We as young people just want our voice to be heard. We want to con­trib­ute. I reckon ev­ery vote counts.’’ Who has your vote? Labour. Would you pre­fer on­line voting or a polling sta­tion? Polling sta­tion with fam­ily.

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