A campaign to lower the voting age to 16 has taken the argument to the High Court, with a claim that the current permitted age of 18 is age discrimination and a breach of rights.
“Extending the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds would uphold human rights and give us a more representative, better democracy,” co-director of the Make It 16, Gina Dao-McLay said before the hearing.
Why just 16? Why not 12?
A move to 16 would be deeply unpopular. Earlier this month Curia polled 700 adult NZers on whether the voting age should be 16 or 18. The results were:
- 16: 8%
- 18: 88%
- Unsure: 4%
The support for age 16 by party vote was:
* National: 2%
* Labour: 11%
* ACT: 0%
* NZ First: 5%
* Greens: 27%
* Undecided: 17%
So even Green Party voters are against by almost 3:1. Labour voters by 8:1.