It's a fact that right across New Zealand, young people are less likely to vote.

"I don't really focus on that stuff much. I do not know why, but like, it's funny because I always told my mum who to vote for like in the years past," says 18-year-old Anahera Treanor.

The electoral commission has just announced there are more than four hundred thousand eligible voters not yet enrolled. One-hundred and fifty-seven thousand of them are under 25.

Hence why youth advocates are on a mission to get more people enrolled by September 22nd. Youth Advocate for the Electoral Commission Diane Tahapeehi says they're raising awareness about the importance of voting to over and under 18-year-olds.


She says getting under 18's familiar with voting now will increase their chances of voting when they're of age.

"We're going to all the events, we're going to all the universities, we're going to the schools, basically anywhere that a young person would gather," Ms Tahapeehi says.

Ms Tahapeehi wishes she had taken an interest in politics when she was 18, but no-one had ever explained how important voting was.

She's passionate about encouraging other people to enrol and vote.

"I guess before this, I didn't understand it and when I understood it, I understood the power and the value of your voice," she says.

Hamilton Registrar of Electors, Linda Wraight agrees and says if young people don't vote older people's votes will be a majority, and youth issues may not be reflected in politics.

"New Zealand's democracy is only strong if everybody has a say, and their say is just as important as anybody else's," Mrs Wraight says.

The youth advocates have been finding that getting young people enrolled is quite easy, once they have their attention. And now 18-year-old Anahera Treanor is enrolled too.

"Well now that I think about it, I guess it's more than I thought, because young people don't really vote much. Well, if people just did what I did, it would be easy," Ms Treanor says.

In the last month, the electoral commission has enrolled 16,694 voters in the 18-29 age group.

But an Electoral Commission spokesperson says they're expecting an increase in enrolments in the weeks to come.

Anyone who's not enrolled has up until midnight on September the 22, the day before the general election.

Voters enrolled by August 23 would receive an Easy Vote card in September to make voting quicker.

People can enrol, check and update their details at, pick up an enrolment form at a PostShop, call 0800 36 76 56 or text their name and address to 3676 for a form.

Voting starts on September 11 when advance voting booths open and run until election day on September 23.

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