© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

'Young people want to have their voice heard': Youth MP wants to lower voting age

Louise Ternouth

17 year-old Azaria Howell wants the voting age lowered so 16 year-olds can also have their say.

The Year 13 Cashmere High School student along with a group of Young Greens are working on a project to lower the voting age and change stigma around it. 

"Politics is also about us, we are the future of politics so we should have a say," Howell says.

The group recently launched a Facebook group "Lower the Voting Age NZ" and are working to start a petition. 

Another focus of the group is increasing the education around politics in schools.

Howell says there is a misconception that young people either don't care enough or aren't effected enough to vote. 

"All young people want to have their voice heard on matters that effect them," Howell says. 

The group is hoping to get schools and other elected Youth MP's on-board with the petition.  

Azaria is the Youth MP for Eugenie Sage and is attending Youth Parliament in July where she hopes the project will take off.