The region's young people hit the polls in force this year, with the highest voter turnout in the past three elections across all four electorates.
The region follows the national trend, which saw the highest turnout since 1999, leading a political scientist to believe Covid-19, amid a range of other factors, contributed to the increase.
Just over 3140 enrolled voters aged between 18 and 24 made their voice heard, with another 900 people who were enrolled choosing not to vote.
That means 77.67 per cent of the enrolled demographic voted compared to 64.78 per cent in the 2017 election and 55.83 per cent in the 2014 election.
The Bay of Plenty electorate saw a similar percentage of 77.02 per cent of enrolled voters, or 3248 people casting their vote. The figure rose by 11.32 per cent from the 2017 election.
The Waiariki electorate is one of the biggest in the country and it certainly proved it with 5316 enrolled young voters for this election, the highest number across all electorates in the Bay of Plenty.
However, of those, 3379 voted - a total of 63.56 per cent of those enrolled to vote.
The figure is up from 48.97 per cent in 2014 and 57.26 per cent in 2017.
University of Waikato political science lecturer Dr Justin Phillips said everyone now knew why politics was important, following the Government's decision to put the country into lockdown in March.
He believed that could be the reason why there was such a "heartening turnout" of youth voters.
"Everyone now understands how powerful the Prime Minister and Cabinet are in our government and as a result, they want to have their say, over who has power."
The other big reason youth may have voted was the economy, he said.
"A lot of young people will be thinking about an economic environment that's scary for them to enter the workforce."
From understanding voter behaviours, Phillips said the "bright spot in a really dark cloud of a year" was that voters' previous engagement often meant they would stay engaged.
Phillips said voter engagement had been on a downward trend across all demographics for decades, and speaking personally, he said it was pleasing to see the opposite this year.
"There is a whole bunch of new voters who have participated in what is a really important election, and they are more likely to continuing [voting]."
The Electoral Commission said it was pleased turnout increased for younger voters in this year's election.
It's important for young people to vote so they could have a say in their future, and their whānau's future, chief electoral officer Alicia Wright said.
"The younger people are when they start voting, the more likely they are to be voters for life, which is important if we are to continue to have high participation rates in future elections.
"This election we saw more people enrolling across the general and Māori rolls and more people voting," Wright said.
Official turnout including all votes was 82.2 per cent, the highest since 1999, and the final enrolment rate was 94.1 per cent, the highest since 2008.
What do our politicians think?
Simon Bridges, National MP for Tauranga, said for a strong functioning democracy, it was vital to think about issues, do a bit of homework, and vote.
"This is especially true for young people because if they start now it's more likely they'll remain civically minded and set themselves up for a lifetime of voting.
"What's also great is that young people will bring fresh eyes to issues and almost inevitably different perspectives. That's healthy in a democracy and ensures it is strong and enduring."
Both Bridges and National MP for Bay of Plenty Todd Muller said they regularly met with young voters through advisory groups, schools and increasingly online.
Muller believed the accessibility was a big part of young voters' increased connectedness.
He said it was fantastic that local youth were engaging with politics.
"Because it means they are thinking about issues and genuinely believe their voice is important. It only strengthens our institutions when this happens."
List MPs Jan Tinetti, Tāmati Coffey and Angie Warren-Clark and Waiariki MP Rawiri Waititi did not respond by deadline.