WITH 50.07 per cent of eligible voters in Tararua making their voices heard in the last local body elections in 2011, Tararua District mayor Roly Ellis was pleased with the above-average turnout.

However, the statistics do have a negative side.

"We've always been low on young people voting," he said.

Urging people to vote, Mr Ellis said, "If you don't vote, don't moan.

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"I believe people need to be connected with the issues which face their local district and by voting in the local body elections you have some influence.

"If people want democracy, whether it's at central government level or local councils, they need to vote to be heard."

After two terms as district mayor Mr Ellis is stepping down because of ill-health.

Although there have been calls for him to reconsider his decision, Mr Ellis said his acute deafness is the biggest factor in not seeking re-election.

Population statistics for Tararua as at June 30, using 2013 census data, indicate the eligible voting population of the district is 12,980.

Of those, 11,090 are on the general role and 1207 on the Maori role. The percentage enrolled currently is 94.7 per cent.

In the 2011 local body elections, 6057 voting papers were returned - 50.07 per cent of eligible voters.

-Turnout in Tararua for the last local body election in 2011 was 50.07 per cent - 6057 voting papers, approximately half of the eligible voters.