November 23, 2022
Give rangatahi vote says Te Pāti Māori
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says she loves the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 years.
The Government is preparing legislation proposing the move in response to a Supreme Court declaration the current start age of 18 is incompatible with the Human Rights Act, but it’s unlikely to get 75 percent of support from parliament it needs to pass.
Ms Ngarewa-Packer says social media means today’s youth are far more informed about things like climate change and social justice than they would have been in the past.
She says Aotearoa has about 315,000 15 to 19 year olds, and Te Pāti Māori is particularly focused on the 80,000 rangatahi Māori in that age group.
“We need to hear what they have to say. Seventy percent of the Māori population are under 40. Twenty five percent are under twenty. So you know, we need to be more representative of the people that make us up,” she says.
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says parties that don’t support lowering the age risk alienating those voters in future elections.