Shortland Street

star Jayden Daniels showcased the beauty of Aotearoa in the hit Air New Zealand safety video.

Now he is part of a drive for fellow Kiwis to have their say in their country's future.

Daniels is fronting a video, screening on social media from today, promoting the Have Your Say campaign to get as many eligible people as possible to vote in September's general election.

Advertisement

Some 22.1 per cent of the 3,140,417 enrolled voters - around 700,000 - didn't cast their vote in the 2014 election. Figures were highest in the 18-24 and 25-29 age groups, both with around 37 per cent not voting.

Daniels, 23, thought there was a widespread misconception, "especially from youth, that 'oh my vote... is not going to make a difference'. But then when that adds up to like 700,000 people who didn't vote in the last elections - well it could."

Have Your Say is a community advocacy campaign by Waipareira - a west Auckland urban Maori Authority. Filming locations were around West Auckland.

"The fact around 700,000 enrolled voters didn't bother to vote at the last election should be a concern for all of us. That's nearly a quarter of voices that weren't heard, and that's not good in a democracy," Waipareira chief executive John Tamihere said.

"We won't know how successful this campaign has been until September 24, but using Jayden, who already has a high profile through the Air NZ adverts and Shortland Street, should get buy-in to our youth.

"The campaign will run through our social media networks starting today and hopefully all political parties will support and push this campaign."

Waipareira approached Daniels to front the community service drive.

In the Have Your Say clip, he attempts to order a coffee at a café, is asked whether he wants a bag to carry groceries at a dairy, and is about to answer a work colleague's inquiry as to whether he wants anything from a bakery.

In each case a 'loud mouth' answers for him, taking away his decision-making and leaving him frustrated.

Eventually finding his voice, he asks "Isn't it frustrating when you don't get your say? Sometimes you just gotta speak up" - before ordering a steak and cheese pie.

Daniels, who played likable rogue Curtis Hannah on Shortland Street, said acting in the Have Your Say video, which he also helped produce, gave him a sense of the frustration of not being heard.

He voted in the last election, because: "I wanted to make sure that I had put my voice forward for changes that I want to see happen in the country".

Daniels said it was up to Kiwis to have their say in New Zealand's future and protection. Voting in the next General Election, on September 23, was "where we do it, rather than on Facebook after the votes are done, and complaining about what happens."

The high number of non-voters has been a political debating point since the 2011 General Election.

About one million voters didn't vote in that election, with then Labour leader David Cunliffe's stated goals in the lead-up to the 2014 election that one of his party's goals was to target the "missing million".

Cunliffe said at the time that those voters were mainly from low and middle income electorates.

In the lead-up to this September's election, the Electoral Commission is employing a number of measures to lift voting numbers.

"Right now there are 3.15 million people enrolled to vote out of an eligible population of 3.56 million," chief electoral officer Alicia Wright said.

"The Electoral Commission has strategies in place to get those extra 400,000 enrolled, but that's just the first step. Getting people out to vote is the important thing...

"We will have more advance voting places than in 2014, set up in places that are easy to get to, where people live and work. For the first time, people will be able to enrol at advance voting places making them a one-stop shop."

Community engagement teams were working to identify those who hadn't previously enrolled and voted. From June 24 to July 7, teams based at the Commission's Manukau office attended more than 50 community events and venues, including malls and supermarkets. In the first week alone, they brought in 1000 enrolment forms.

Wright stressed the importance of as many voting as possible.

"We vote for ourselves and for our families, friends, our communities, our future, for New Zealand. The more voices that are heard, the stronger our democracy, and the greater numbers that turn out to vote, the more representative the result."