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Political rights

Political rights boil down to one thing — your chance to have your say about things that affect you. There are many ways you can have your say:

New Zealanders can also have their say on election day by voting. This page gives an overview of the voting process.

Enrol to vote

If you are 18 or older you are required to enrol to vote. Voting itself is not compulsory, but enrolling is.

Some people argue that if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain about government policies. You have every right to complain — but things will only change if you get involved and vote.

Enrol To Vote LogoHow to enrol

Enrol online

Check your eligibility and enrol online at elections.org.nz. Find out how to enrol, which roll to choose — Māori or General — and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Other ways to enrol

It’s also important to check the roll each election to make sure your details are up to date. Moving house may mean that you move electorates. Keep your information up to date.

If you are overseas you can still vote.


In a general election you have two votes — a party vote and an electorate vote.

The party vote helps decide how many seats each party gets. The more party votes a party gets, the more MPs it will have in Parliament.

The electorate vote helps decide who becomes your local Member of Parliament. The candidate who gets the most votes wins the seat.


* Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa Incorporated
ACYA seeks to promote respect for children and youth and their rights.
* Aotearoa Youth Voices Network
Details on youth councils, the Youth Parliament and programmes to encourage youth to become politically active. Ministry of Youth Development site for young people.
* District Health Boards
Information from the Ministry of Health about District Health boards and the election process.
* Elections New Zealand
Joint website of the Electoral Enrolment Centre, the Chief Electoral Office and the Electoral Commission. Everything you need to know about enrolling and voting.
* Explore Parliament
Educational site that provides information and tutorials about the democratic process in Aotearoa New Zealand
* iVote
The Facebook page of 'The Orange Guy' from the Electoral Commission.
* Local Government New Zealand
Website for councils around the country - includes maps, statistics and details of local and regional councils around New Zealand.
* Parliament
Official site of the New Zealand Parliament where elected representatives make laws, debate important issues. Keep a watch on Government activity. Includes link to live stream of Parliament TV.
* Ask Away
Ask the parties your questions this election. Vote on important questions and the most popular ones will get answered by politicians daily.
* Child Youth and Family Services
Find out about your rights and what to do about them if they're not being met
* Children's Commissioner
The Office of the Children's Commissioner exists to ensure that children's rights are respected. Includes an Advice section which can help solve problems or answer questions about the rights, interests, and welfare of children and young people.
* Kids Voting
Kids Voting gives students the opportunity to participate in an authentic voting experience. Students vote for real candidates, on a real ballot paper, and compare the results from the Kids election with the results of the real election.
* Ministry of Social Development
A government strategy aimed at improving the lives of children and young people.
* Ministry of Youth Development
Policies, programmes, legislation and services that concern young people in New Zealand.
* NZ Legislation
Unofficial versions of public, local and private acts
* Otautahi Youth Council
An independent youth body intended to represent the views and opinions of young people in Christchurch.
Produced by a group of young volunteer writers, designers, researchers, and artists to provide a platform for young people to start conversations with one another about what matters to them in the lead up to the 2014 general election.
* Virgin Voter Collective
The Virgin Voter Collective is a coalition of campaigns aiming to increase the amount of youth voters. Especially first time voters.
* Youth Parliament
Youth Parliament has been held every three years since 1994. It is an opportunity for young New Zealanders to learn about New Zealand's democracy and influence public decision-making. Find out when the next one is taking place.