A move by the Government to increase the number of ballot boxes in more venues at next year's general election has been welcomed by Hawke's Bay's political leaders.
Justice Minister Andrew Little announced changes on Thursday where voters will be able to enrol on election day, and allow ballot boxes to be placed in supermarkets and malls to make it easier for people to vote.
The Electoral Commission recommended a number of small changes to make it easier for people to enrol and vote, which the Government agreed to make.
Labour's Tukituki candidate in the 2017 general election, Anna Lorck, who has campaigned for the move, said greater and fairer access to exercise the right to vote was critical to democracy.
"People want to be able to exercise their vote as they go about their day."
Lorck, along with Hastings District Councillor, Geraldine Travers, travelled to Parliament earlier this year to submit to the justice select committee on equal and fairer access to early voting – highlighting how Flaxmere Village, in time alone, was denied the equivalent of an entire working day to vote when compared to Havelock North.
"I can see this greatly improving voter turnout in Tukituki especially in areas like Hastings and Flaxmere, where the malls and supermarkets are very busy places," Lorck said.
"This announcement will, I believe make a big difference, for improving voter turnout."
Tukituki National MP Lawrence Yule said National supported having polling booths where people are.
"It is a useful thing to do. Up until now, it hasn't happened in Hawke's Bay, but it has happened in other parts of New Zealand - they have had polling booths in supermarkets, but not on election day."
He said at supermarkets, there needed to be enough space for a secure and quiet voting venue, for example by checkouts, but supermarket owners would also have to agree.
Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri said she provided feedback at the end of the 2014 and 2017 general elections.
She says she wanted to make sure there were more booths in highly Māori populated areas, that all booths had the same equitable hours in terms of early voting as well as on election day, as well as people who can pronounce Māori names properly.
"I know in the early voting in 2017, particular booths throughout Ikaroa-Rawhiti didn't operate on the same hours as the general seat booths.
"I asked that we would have at least people who can pronounce Māori names correctly in all booths because Māori don't just come into the Māori electoral booth.
Whaitiri says it is about making the voting experience a "good one", so they come back.
"It is important particularly for our young voters, voting for the first time that somebody in the booth can pronounce their name properly."