Rotorua's youth have been studying up to decide who they would vote for if they had a say.

Local primary and secondary school students have been taking part in a nationally run mock election, leading up to the general election this Saturday.

Rotorua Primary was one of the schools involved, with its mock election held last week.

All year levels were involved and had been learning about party leaders and their policies for the past nine weeks.


Associate principal Kristina Crouch said her students had jumped on the idea.

"It's crazy how well it has worked.

"They've been learning about policies that affect people and, surprisingly, became very interested in tax," Mrs Crouch said.

Each student voted for their preferred party - and for the Waiariki electorate candidate, due to 94 per cent of the school's population being Maori.

Teachers simplified policies so students could understand and relate to them.

"We've made the whole process contextually relevant to try and prepare them as citizens," Mrs Crouch said.

She said some students even shared what they had learned with their families.

"We've had about six parents come in to the school to ask where they can sign up for the election after their kids told them about it."


Year 4 pupils Shakyrah Nicholas-Manly , 9 and Dilan Moore, 8, gave their thoughts on this year's election.

"I like Jacinda because she cares about the homeless," Shakyrah said.

Dilan, 8, said he would vote for Bill English.

"Bill is honest and does what he says he is going to do."

They also emphasised the importance of voting.

"If you vote then you can change the world," Shakyrah said.


"If no one voted the world would go crazy," Dilan said.

This is the first year Rotorua Primary has participated in the mock election and it may not be the last.

"It's been a hugely collaborative process and the kids absolutely loved it," Mrs Crouch said.

Other local schools to take part were Te Kura o te Whakarewarewa, Rotorua Seventh-Day Adventist, Mamaku, Ngakuru, Kaingaroa Forest, Kaitao Intermediate and Western Heights High School.