As you may all know, this year’s general election will take place on September 23, which is less than four months away. It is important that everyone is ready and able to place their vote on the day.
At the 2014 election, 81 per cent of voters in the Hunua Electorate actually turned out to vote.
When compared to other electorates across the country, our voter turnout was below many others. It is important everyone takes the opportunity to exercise their democratic right – we are lucky to have a Parliamentary system that respects individual choice.
If you are not on the roll, you need to enrol as soon as possible. You must enrol if you are a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident, you are 18 or older and you have at any time resided in New Zealand continuously for one year or more.
If you are 17, you can still fill in the form and return it and you will be enrolled as a voter when you turn 18.
Once you have had your enrolment accepted you can update your enrolment details electronically. You can find out what electorate you live in by visiting www.elections.org.nz
If you are going to be out of the country you can still vote from overseas if you are enrolled. From 6 September you will be able to download and print your voting papers, or vote in person at an overseas post or ask for postal voting papers.
Alternatively, advance voting will start on 11 September. You will be able to visit a special polling booth and cast your vote prior to Election Day. Details of advance voting places will be available on the elections website closer to the date.
In the meantime, Parliament has a busy schedule, especially following the Budget which was presented on May 25.
We are sitting until the House rises on 17 August for the election campaign.
As you will appreciate, all parties will then be fiercely campaigning until the Election Day on 23 September.
- Andrew Bayly is MP for Hunua