The Bay of Plenty's young people hit the polls in force this year, with the highest voter turnout in the past three elections across all four electorates.
The region follows the national trend, which saw the highest turnout since 1999, leading a political scientist to believe Covid-19, amid a range of other factors, contributed to the increase.
There were 2777 voters aged between 18 and 24 who ticked their voting forms in the Rotorua electorate - a total of 71.68 per cent of those enrolled.
The figure is the highest it has been in the past three elections with 65.7 per cent of enrolled voters hitting the polls in 2017 and 57.3 per cent in 2014.
At the same time, the number of those enrolled has slowly declined over the three elections.
The Waiariki electorate is one of the biggest in the country and it certainly proved it with 5316 enrolled young voters for this year's election, the highest number across all electorates in the Bay of Plenty.
However, of those, 3379 voted - 63.56 per cent of those enrolled.
The figure is up from 48.97 per cent in 2014 and 57.26 per cent in 2017.
University of Waikato political science lecturer Dr Justin Phillips said everyone now knew why politics was important, following the Government's decision to put the country into lockdown in March.
He believed that could be the reason why there was such a "heartening turnout" of youth voters.
"Everyone now understands how powerful the Prime Minister and Cabinet are in our government and as a result, they want to have their say over who has power."
The other big reason youth may have voted was the economy, he said.
"A lot of young people will be thinking about an economic environment that's scary for them to enter the workforce."
From understanding voter behaviours, Phillips said the "bright spot in a really dark cloud of a year" was that voters' previous engagement often meant they would stay engaged.
Phillips said voter engagement had been on a downward trend across all demographics for decades and speaking personally, he said it was pleasing to see the opposite this year.
"There are a whole bunch of new voters who have participated in what was a really important election, and they are more likely to continuing [voting]."
The Electoral Commission said it was pleased turnout increased for younger voters in this year's election.
It's important for young people to vote so they could have a say in their future, and their whānau's future, chief electoral officer Alicia Wright said.
"The younger people are when they start voting, the more likely they are to be voters for life, which is important if we are to continue to have high participation rates in future elections.
"This election we saw more people enrolling across the general and Māori rolls and more people voting," Wright said.
Official turnout including all votes was 82.2 per cent, the highest since 1999, and the final enrolment rate was 94.1 per cent, the highest since 2008.
What do out politicians think?
Rotorua National MP Todd McClay said the increase in voting by young people was pleasing to see.
"Engaging with all voters is a priority during campaigns and I interact with younger constituents on an ongoing basis at schools and clubs and community events."
National MP for Bay of Plenty Todd Muller said he regularly met with young voters through advisory groups, schools and increasingly online.
Muller believed the accessibility was a big part of young voters increased connectedness.
He said it was fantastic that local youth were engaging with politics.
"Because it means they are thinking about issues and genuinely believe their voice is important. It only strengthens our institutions when this happens."
Tamati Coffey and Rawiri Waititi were both approached for comment.