Anahera Pickering hasn't always been interested in politics but now she talks about it so often her friends react with "oh my God, get over it".

The 19-year-old from Whangarei is a youth advisor for the Electoral Commission - it's her job to encourage young people to enrol and vote in this year's general election.

"Having this job's made me really interested. I'm the type out of my group of friends who always talks about politics or brings up something and they're like 'oh my God, get over it.'"

Ms Pickering voted for the first time on Monday - when advanced voting opened.


She learned about the advisor job through a workshop at Whangarei Youth Space during Youth Week where Melody Hicks from the Electoral Commission visited to promote the youth advocate job.

Ms Pickering had been hunting for a job since September last year so after the workshop she stayed back and asked lots of questions.

"It sounded interesting for the fact it had something to do with youth work. I'm really up for building up youth and making a change for us."

As part of her job Ms Pickering visits tertiary institutes, high schools, and other organisations involved with youth, to provide information on enrolling and voting and why it is important.

"A lot of it comes down to youth not voting because they don't know they can, or don't know what it is.

"The things they value aren't being looked at. It's so simple, it's two ticks and you put it in a box and you're done," she said.

Ms Pickering said Whangarei Youth Space youth workers were a huge support as she was able to go in for one-on-one sessions and received assistance updating her CV.

Youth workers also set up a mock interview, and accompanied Ms Pickering to the interview.

"On the day of the interview, I was very nervous.

"The mock interview helped me to calm down, gain confidence and prepare me for the interview."

Ms Pickering said in the future she was interested in having a career where she can work with other people.