Rotorua's young voters are lagging behind seniors when it comes to being ready to vote in this year's general election.
The latest data from the Electoral Commissions shows only 74.5 per cent of eligible voters in the Rotorua electorate aged 18 to 24 were enrolled, despite there being 40 days to go before voting begins.
Data for those aged 25 to 29 was slightly better, with 75.9 per cent enrolled.
This compares to almost 92 per cent of seniors aged 60-64, and 96.1 per cent of those aged 65-69 being enrolled to vote.
In the Taupō electorate, the number of people enrolled in the 18-24 age group stood at only 60.1 per cent, and 69.7 per cent of those aged 25-29.
Nationwide, 62.49 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds are enrolled and 73.74 per cent of 24-29-year-olds.
Overall, half a million people across all ages, or 87 per cent, are yet to enrol.
Moves were now being made to ensure Rotorua's young voters were ready to vote in time for the 2020 New Zealand general election on September 19.
An Electoral Commission spokeswoman said the commission, concerned about the lower enrolment rates for young people, was ramping up its efforts to encourage more to do so.
Steps the commission was taking included making it easier to enrol online using a New Zealand driving licence, passport or RealMe verified identity, the spokeswoman said.
Heather du Plessis-Allan: Tone-deaf returning Kiwis must pay for quarantine
Comment: Welcome those in managed isolation right this time
Election candidates to attend debate forum
The commission also intended to provide educational material and promotional advertising targeted specifically at younger voters, the spokeswoman said.
The Rotorua-based team would be visiting local schools and attending student events at the Toi Ohomai campuses in Rotorua, Taupō and Tokoroa, she said.
"We will also be connecting with youth and community groups on social media channels."
People were urged to enrol to vote by August 16 so they could receive an information pack with details about where to vote, the candidates standing, political party lists and an EasyVote card to make voting faster.
As election day nears, there are also two referendums people can vote on.
The first is whether the recreational use of cannabis should be made legal and the second is whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019 should come into force, giving patients with a terminal illness the option of requesting assisted dying.
Voting starts in New Zealand starts on September 5, while those overseas can start to vote from September 2.
Mandy Bohté, Electoral Commission national manager of enrolment and community engagement, said every year thousands of voters were removed from the electoral roll because they've changed their address but had not updated their details.
"If you've moved house, you need to make sure you're enrolled at the right address."
Dr Bryce Edwards, a senior associate in Victoria University's Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, said he was surprised more young people had not enrolled.
Edwards said particularly given the number of young people who attended the Black Lives Matter and climate change protest marches this year.
He said he had hoped it would have sparked greater interest in this election, especially as they could have their say on the proposed legalisation of recreational use of cannabis.
Edwards said at the last election there was a significant increase in the voter turnout for young people compared to 2014, so he hoped the enrolment figures would pick up.
"We're are getting a lot of young people that more politicised and speaking up on a variety of important issues. But I'm also aware a lot of others are fairly apathetic so it is quite polarising in terms of young people engaging in our political process."
Edwards said that could be because some young voters might believe their vote would not make a difference.
"Our politicians do need to make it more attractive to younger voters to want to enrol and vote and the behaviour of some of our politicians has tarnished the reputation of politics and our political system ... Perception matters in politics," he said.
Edwards said if young people were seeing bad behaviour from MPs and did not believe they could trust the political system, it could influence whether they registered and voted.
Also, if a main political party is polling at 55 per cent, some people may feel the election result was a foregone conclusion and not bother to enrol, he said.
"I don't think you can fault the Electoral Commission, who are doing a good job to get as many people enrolled as possible and trying to get young people to want to be involved."
He said Parliament had also made it easier with voting right up to 7pm on election day.
Enrolments figures in Rotorua electorate
Aged 18 to 24 years: 74.52 %
25 to 29 years: 75.95%
60 to 64 years: 91.9%
65 to 69 years: 96.1 %
70 and over: 94.1 %
Source: Electoral Commission