Voters show low interest in elections
‘‘It's your opportunity to have a say on how the Matamata-Piako district is run over the next three years.’’
A final push is being made to encourage people to have a say in this year’s local government elections as initial voter turnout figures look abysmal.
As at September 29, only 1631 votes have been received for the Matamata Ward meaning there’s still 7355 voting papers to be returned.
Voting papers must be in the mail by October 5, or handed into any council office before midday October 8.
Councillors have a leadership role across the district and represent the views of the community.
There are five Matamata Ward candidates contesting four seats, including Joanne Aoake, Brian Hunter, James Sainsbury, Kevin Tappin and Adrienne Wilcock.
Matamata-Piako District Council is encouraging people to become involved in the election.
‘‘These decisions will have a big impact on the future,’’ says electoral officer Sandy Barnes.
‘‘It’s your opportunity to have a say on how the Matamata-Piako district is run over the next three years.’’
Mayor Jan Barnes is urging the people to vote as its not only good to have your say but it’s important to understand you are electing people to make decisions on your behalf.
‘‘Although there is just the one election for the Matamata Ward with five contenders for four positions, there is still the plenty of reason to give the voting papers the tick,’’ said Barnes.
‘‘I want ‘ my’ people of Matamata, Morrinsville and Te Aroha to vote for the Waikato Regional Council as well as the Waikato District Health Board.’’
Questions are being asked by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) as to what more can be done to encourage voters.
Nationwide there is a lack of engagement from voters aged 18-29 and LGNZ is supportive of voting online.
As part of a nationwide campaign, children aged between 11-15 have been able take part in a kids vote through schools in order for them to learn to engage in the voting process.
Find out more about the candidates at http://mpdc.nz/ vote.
Matamata-Piako mayor Jan Barnes is encouraging people to vote in the local government elections.