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New Zealand group wanting voting age set at 16 wins in court

81 Comments
By NICK PERRY

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Brilliant idea, first hand out a booklet on how to spy on your neighbours then lower the voting to mostly immature children to vote the way they are told.

Can you imagine Izzi Cook a 16-year-old school climate strike organiser from tNew Zealand being able to vote.

She advocates needing government approval to leave the country on vacation telling a radio host that a trip to Fiji should be banned only to be pressed into admitting she herself just got back from vacation in Fiji.

Yes New Zealand really needs people like that to be able to vote.

What next, toddlers followed by dogs and cats?

0 ( +20 / -20 )

It will not happen and I would vote against it. However there is 1 argument in their favor being that some under 18 year olds in NZ are working full time. So should they not have the right to say what happens with the tax they are paying?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

To be honest, looking at the way voting goes around the world, I don't think a 16-year-old is much different to an average voter of any age when it comes to considering the issues in a rational way. Millions of older people are incapable of even considering their own interests properly and it is not because they put it aside in the interest of any greater good either. They are just easily led by demagogues and ideology. They could reduce the voting age to about 10 years old and I don't think it would make much difference. It's their future. Why not let them have a say in it? The older voters would still have a disproportionate stake in continuing to screw things up for them.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Proponents are hopeful, though, that they can get the voting age lowered to 16 for local council elections as a first step, as that change requires only a regular majority of lawmakers.

Sounds like a reasonable start. The biggest thing though is educating these teenagers about the process and how to make sound voting decisions. Not to mention the responsibilities that go along with having the right to vote.

Starting locally is a great idea, in my opinion, as teenagers today have literally information from all over the world at their finger tips compared to even a generation ago.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

However there is 1 argument in their favor being that some under 18 year olds in NZ are working full time. So should they not have the right to say what happens with the tax they are paying?

That’s an excellent point, but the counter would be, it is not I imagine the majority case, but the minority case.

Rules are typically better made to suit the majority case, where 16 and 17 year olds haven’t completed their basic education, and aren’t paying taxes. I’d like to think voters have basic understanding of economics for example, before voting on how to spend other peoples money.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Rules are typically better made to suit the majority case, where 16 and 17 year olds haven’t completed their basic education, and aren’t paying taxes. I’d like to think voters have basic understanding of economics for example, before voting on how to spend other peoples money.

A huge amount of teenagers in NZ leave school at 15. AT a guess 50/50.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Why?

I think it is a good idea.

Good for you!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So how many here have children?

Would you let your 16 year old run your family finances, run your pension plan, decide issues of life and death?

If no then you understand why a 16 year old isn't mature enough or responsible enough to make the decision of how a country could be run.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

If we genuinely want children's interests to have more representation in government, why not grant parents an extra vote for every child, regardless of age?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Can you imagine Izzi Cook a 16-year-old school climate strike organiser from tNew Zealand being able to vote.

It can't be any worse than the 60-year old in my neighbourhood who thinks homosexuals should be jailed.

It's not the noisy ones who matter. When the voting age in Scotland was reduced to 16, I was against it at first. Then I watched a TV show with an audience of about 1000 16 and 17-year old school kids asking questions to politicians. At the then end, I thought perhaps only 16 and 17-year olds should be allowed to vote.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

The people who want 16 year olds to vote know that the younger they, the more gullible and susceptible to brainwashing by their left-wing teachers.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Would you let your 16 year old run your family finances, run your pension plan, decide issues of life and death?

Hardly the same though, is it? Being able to vote doesn't give you the final word on a country's policies. Would you at least let your 16-year-old have a say in some of those issues? For the ones that would directly affect them and their future, I certainly would. Giving them a say (even if you completely ignore it) is a good way to get them thinking about the issues in a meaningful way, I feel.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

well when liberalism/progressivism goes too far it may end like this...?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Would you let your 16 year old run your family finances, run your pension plan, decide issues of life and death

Today 16 years is not young and probably more knowledgeable on issues than some adults. Just because you are 60 years does not mean you understand anymore than a 16 year old.

There are people younger than 16 who are already millionaires or running their own businesses.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Quick, get their votes before they realise what a disaster socialism is.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Eastman

well when liberalism/progressivism goes too far it may end like this...?

It's neither liberalism or progressivism. It's a lobby group.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Today 16 years is not young and probably more knowledgeable on issues than some adults.

Sure if you want the names of all the Kardashians or to know the latest TikTok trend.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

A huge amount of teenagers in NZ leave school at 15. AT a guess 50/50.

See what happens when not informed 88% of New Zealand's population has a highschool diploma (age 17 up) 41% to 45% have a post secondary education.

So in reality independent living under 18 and working full time is a very very tiny percentage of the population.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I started work at 16 and daily I was required to make serious decisions. I was also paying tax but adulthood then began at 21.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Quick, get their votes before they realise what a disaster socialism is.

Yeah, perhaps they will realise the unfairness of endless dollars for corporate welfare and socialism for the rich in the world quicker than those who can't see it at an older age.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Seeing they cannot in anyway pass a chance.

It is more likely the age discrimination act will be modified to start at 18 years old.

It is a far simpler fix than to change the voting age.

The reasons is because as long as the voting age is not changed and the act remains 16 and up the government will face more court challenges.

So change the acts discrimination age to 18 problem solved for now.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

As the first country in Europe, Austria has given 16-year-olds the right to vote. In Germany 16 and 17- year-olds can vote in a number of constituent states, and more countries – including Great Britain – are debating the subject:

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sure if you want the names of all the Kardashians or to know the latest TikTok trend.

And here we have an article about a group that is predominantly made up of secondary schoolers, who are advocating for (and winning) a chance at changing national policy in their country's highest court. I think you'd be surprised at what young people are knowledgeable about.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The topic of the voting only matters to New Zealanders. Everyone else is merely an observer.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Today 16 years is not young and probably more knowledgeable on issues than some adults.

Sure if you want the names of all the Kardashians or to know the latest TikTok trend.

That cracked me up!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Be careful what you wish, if this stands then other things will also need to be challenged.

Driving age in new Zealand 18 if discrimination to vote the. It is discrimination to require you be 18 to drive.

Note that countries were 16 was the driving age have started to put restrictions on under 18 driving, why? Because they are not mature enough and get into more accidents and trouble

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The same debate is happening in Canada.

If children as young as 12 are considered mature enough to be held criminally responsible for their actions, why can’t 16-year-olds vote? 

If children can work and pay taxes, why don’t they have a say in how their taxes are spent?

https://theconversation.com/why-lowering-the-voting-age-in-canada-is-such-a-good-idea-180108

5 ( +6 / -1 )

And here we have an article about a group that is predominantly made up of secondary schoolers, who are advocating for (and winning) a chance at changing national policy in their country's highest court. I think you'd be surprised at what young people are knowledgeable about.

I knew a guy that graduated university at 15 does that mean the rest can do the same?

So a few are interested the rest are busy with TikTok.

78% of those 13 to 24 use TikTok in New Zealand

Do you think 78% of 16 and 17 year olds are following this issue?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The same debate is happening in Canada.

While every province has placed serious restrictions on driving under 18!

Seems typically illogical thing in Canada, we could drive at 16 but now facts show more accidents under 18 so we now pulling back on under 18 driving but the same people think a kid that is not responsible enough to drive a car has enough sense to understand politics and government.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The usual crop of posters who know what all teenagers do. My grandchildren would be quite capable of voting. Same kind of negative comments that have happened for many decades.

Some 67% of teens say they ever use TikTok, with 16% of all teens saying they use it almost constantly.

https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In America and Japan, you become an adult at 18 but can’t smoke or drink until 21 and 20 but you can vote.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Some 67% of teens say they ever use TikTok, with 16% of all teens saying they use it almost constantly.

> https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/

Brilliant you post USA stats to counter my New Zealand stats.

My grandchildren would be quite capable of voting.

But you don't know the difference between New Zealand and USA.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Can you imagine Izzi Cook a 16-year-old school climate strike organiser from tNew Zealand being able to vote.

Yes.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Sure if you want the names of all the Kardashians or to know the latest TikTok trend.

My grandfather thought I didn’t know anything at 16. I knew plenty.

You’re just repeating an age old cycle.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I knew a guy that graduated university at 15 does that mean the rest can do the same?

If they write a dissertation, and that dissertation is given a passing grade by a professor, yes.

I’m not sure why you needed to ask this. How did your friend feel about it? Does he want to return his degree?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Nothing wrong with my geography I am very good at it since school. The debate for lowering the voting age is happening in many countries as well as NZ.

Social media usage in New Zealand is dominated by Facebook, with around 81 percent of the population claiming to use the platform each month. WhatsApp users were around half of this figure, with 40 percent saying they used the messaging service.

There are millions of people using TikTok so they should all be banned from voting?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So users of any social media should be declared incompetent and banned from voting. That certainly would make life easier.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I knew a guy that graduated university at 15 does that mean the rest can do the same?

Sounds like 15-year-olds could probably handle the responsibility of voting, then. Anyway, so what? I know a guy who dropped out of university at 30. He can vote.

So a few are interested the rest are busy with TikTok.

Teenagers can't do two things at once?Perhaps they're TikTok-ing (or whatever) about politics. Your blanket statements don't help your case.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The age of sexual consent is 16. That is a major responsibility.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I knew a guy that graduated university at 15 does that mean the rest can do the same?

I apologise for repeating but this deserves attention as one of the ’most interesting’ questions I’ve ever heard.

The answer is, of course, probably not.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If children as young as 12 are considered mature enough to be held criminally responsible for their actions, why can’t 16-year-olds vote? 

Then why don't these campaigners ever call for twelve year-olds to get the vote? Why do they invariably draw the line at 16?

It's almost as if they've looked into the stats and understand that children under 16 will still be influenced by the political preferences of their parents, which tend to skew conservative in a nuclear family, while 16 year-olds begin to adopt very different political views as they become independent consumers of mass media and entertainment.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

so NO, children do not have the mental capacity yet to make an informed vote.

Obviously. But maybe thats what you are counting on......

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Have you considered if you lower voting to 16, everything else age related then becomes fair game to be lowered to 16 based on that?

informed enough to vote, then also informed enough to enter in to a contract. or the military. or to drink or smoke or pose nude or worse or date and marry 40 year old men.

Guess the weirdos would like all that.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The weasels attempted this in Canada this year as well. Even in Canada, they dismissed it as the garbage idea it is.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Have you considered if you lower voting to 16, everything else age related then becomes fair game to be lowered to 16 based on that?

Well I suspect the first thing would be driving.

In New Zealand it is 18 same a voting, so if needing to be 18 to vote is discrimination then obviously requiring one to be 18 to drive is the same.

New Zealand is going to love 16 and 17 year old drivers.

Canada loved them so much that most places now make it near impossible to actually drive before 18.

And your car insurance in new Zealand will rise as driving age goes down.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

A shadow discussion that doesn’t make anymore sense in all those aging Western societies. They can demand what they want, it’s their right of course, maybe following even voting rights for toddlers or fetuses, that doesn’t change at all the easily to understand fact, that they are simply outnumbered and losing any contrary voting or election in our era now and even more in the future, if they still should have any.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Maybe it is a good idea to extend voting rights to 16 year olds. Could they be any more ill informed and conspiracy prone than their elders?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A lobby group seeking to lower New Zealand's voting age from 18 to 16 won its appeal to the Supreme Court, which ruled Monday the current law amounts to age discrimination.

Why not give it a try? The country is operating at the peak of wokeism so maybe a younger voting population can add some sanity.

Bob FosseToday  05:05 pm JST

My grandfather thought I didn’t know anything at 16. I knew plenty.

I'm presuming we are all with your grandfather on this one.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Follow the money, who is paying for this challenge.

Seems the founders are professional activists first they started with the students strikes now this and they have a few more projects.

None are under 18 they are professionals or in university.

This was not started by children it was started by over 18 looking for easy votes for their issues.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The population of NZ, 5.1 million. Voting population. 3.5 million voters. Last turnout in 2020 82.24 % 2,919,073.

78% of people aged 18 to 24 voted, compared with 89% of those aged 65 and over.

The number of 16-year-olds is about 300,000.

https://elections.nz/democracy-in-nz/historical-events/2020-general-election-and-referendums/voter-turnout-statistics-for-the-2020-general-election/

2 ( +4 / -2 )

However, changing New Zealand's voting age would require agreement from a 75% supermajority of lawmakers, and even proponents acknowledge they don't have the support to make it happen.

A lot of hot-air comments for nothing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Make It 16 In the Media

https://www.makeit16.org.nz/news

"Make it 16 was formed out of Youth Parliament in September of 2019. Our launching event was hosted by Chlöe Swarbrick and featured speeches from many people including then Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft, Wellington City Councillor Tamatha Paul, Labour MP Greg O’Connor and many more. In just two years our campaign has launched a court case (and been to court three times!), we’ve been involved in submissions to Parliament, talks in schools, a documentary by The Spinoff and we’ve created a petition that’s gained thousands of signatures."

https://www.makeit16.org.nz/our-story

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well it’s definitely age discrimination, which I think is all the court ruling says. But, discrimination is an important part of decision making. I agree with the premise that adolescents are, for the most part, still establishing their value set. Few people have fully matured by 18 but they have started to settle. 18 seems arbitrary, I would suggest it’s a reasonable and fair age at which to discriminate.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My grandfather thought I didn’t know anything at 16. I knew plenty.

I'm presuming we are all with your grandfather on this one.

I’m just speaking for myself instead of a ‘we’ and knowing you are wrong.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm presuming we are all with your grandfather on this one.

You presume wrong, then.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If a 90 year old is allowed to vote, then so should a 16 year old be able to. Think about it*

0 ( +3 / -3 )

When I first read about this this morning I was against it, as I don’t think it’s a great idea for impressionable kids, still developing and many still at school where they can be too easily influenced by their friends or even teachers, to be given the responsibility. That said, I’m also sure many of the people commenting here shouldn’t be given the responsibility to vote, but they are.

Also, regarding the driving age in NZ, the age at which someone can have a full licence is 18 (or 17.5 after advanced driving courses), but the age at which people can be on the road learning is 16, and the age you can be on the road alone in a car is 16.5. Yes there are still restrictions regarding hours which you are allowed to drive, having passengers in the vehicle, and alcohol limit is lower, but these restrictions are based on the level of licence and not the age of the driver.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because we all know that children have a lot wisdom to lead a nation...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Amending amendment 26 next?

Luckily, as said above, just a load of hot air.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bob FosseToday  05:05 pm JST

My grandfather thought I didn’t know anything at 16. I knew plenty.Bob FosseToday  05:05 pm JST

We should respect our elders; and good on your grandfather for knowing what he knew.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

A very small percentage of 16-year-olds in NZ have WHAT IT TAKES to make an informed decision.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I wonder how many of the people claiming 16 year olds don't have the capacity of understanding the issues would accept an argument that those over 70 years old have lost the capacity of understanding the issues.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

!6 year olds are, according to the wisdom of the ancient Greeks and classical educators, "sophmores" and the etymology of 'sophmore' says it all (from Google):

"It comes from the Greek word 'sophos,' meaning clever or wise," said Sokolowski. "And the word 'moros,' meaning foolish. And so sophy moore — or sophomore — means 'a wise fool.”" That "soph" also appears in the word philoSOPHy, which means a love of wisdom. And that same root word "moros," gives us the word moron."

The politicians, whose job it is to manipulate and snow people to their own advantage for votes, KNOW what they are doing...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think it would be a bad idea, as at 16 most people lack genuine economic experience. Members of my family suggested 21 as a better option. But given that the UK is now undeveloping courtesy of Brexit, it wouldn't make much difference if you let angry 12 year olds vote here. At worst it would just speed up the UK's descent to a toilet state by a small margin. Nothing good lies ahead, globally, so issues like this may be moot.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I was very politically informed at 16 years old, more than the majority of adults around me. That said, I didn't have the life-experience to understand the long-term effects of my potential political decisions. I'm on the fence about this one.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Strangerland,

Well said. The election cycle in New Zealand is three years, so 16-17-year-olds would either vote once, or not at all. Unless in certain circumstances like snap elections I suppose. Do you think giving this relatively small cohort of potential voters the chance to have a say would have any substantial long-term effects?

I'd also venture to say that only (or mostly) politically informed 16-17-year-olds would bother, anyway. Turning 18 doesn't suddenly turn one into a civic-minded, rational and responsible person. The allowed age is just a proxy for that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Based on that comment the unemployed shouldn't vote then

I started work at 16 and daily I was required to make serious decisions. I was also paying tax but adulthood then began at 21.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Age discrimination" is a very weak reason to change our age-related laws. It implies that we should just throw away any age restrictions for any topic, be it consensual sex or smoking.

Fun fact, last election there was a 16 year old NZ girl who had been fighting for the right to vote, and she ended up filming herself vandalising political billboards and posting it proudly online.

Today NZHerald posted an opinion piece saying that if we want 16 year olds to be held accountable for their crimes, specifically the ram raids young people have been doing recently, that we should allow them to vote too.

So in both situations, the people telling me I should allow 16 year olds to vote, are showing me exactly why these people are not fit to vote.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

See what happens when not informed 88% of New Zealand's population has a high school diploma (age 17 up) 41% to 45% have a post secondary education.

And how many of that 88% of the population are foreigners who got their education outside of NZ prior to immigrating?

Also a high school diploma can be given under the age of 17. (I fixed your spelling mistake by the way..your welcome)

I would be interested to know where you get your very accurate figures from.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder how this change will impact the stability of Family Relations ? With Kids living at home voting completely opposite to their Parents, that will make for an interesting dinner table discussion, which will lead to where ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the USA Trump people want the voting age upped from 18 because they are such loser sourpusses.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Age is not maturity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The average age of Fox viewers is 70 who all vote Trump. Does older really mean voting for better people in office?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Should raise it to 30.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it is age discrimination keeping 16 year olds from voting, the same argument could be made for those under 26. Simply remove all age requirements, and allow universal suffrage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the Legal age of consent within NZ ?

And at what age, can they Legally get Married ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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