In this article:
- Why is voting so important?
- Why is it so important for people to enrol and vote?
- What is MMP and how does it work?
- How many votes do I have?
- How do parties make it into Parliament?
- Who decides the date of the next election?
- Why can't I vote online?
Why is voting so important?
Voting is an important way to have a say on the big issues that affect you, your friends, and your family. You’re making sure that your voice is heard and your opinion valued.
It’s your right to vote – don’t let anyone take your voice away from you.
Why is it so important for people to enrol and vote?
Only those who are correctly enrolled get to vote and have their say in New Zealand’s decision making.
That’s why it’s important to enrol now – to make sure you’re ready to vote when the election comes.
Enrolling early also means you’ll be sent lots more information about when and where to vote, and the people and parties you’ll get to choose from.
What is MMP and how does it work?
MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) is the system we currently use to elect our Parliament.
See also: MMP seat allocation calculator.
How many votes do I have?
At a General Election, you have two votes – an electorate vote for the candidate you think would best represent your local electorate, and a party vote for the party you wish to support.
At a by-election you only have one vote - an electorate vote.
How do parties make it into Parliament?
A political party that wins at least one electorate seat or 5% of the party vote gets a share of the seats in Parliament that is about the same as its share of the party vote. For example, if a party gets 30% of the party vote it will get roughly 36 MPs in Parliament (being 30% of 120 seats). So, if that party wins 20 electorate seats, it will have 16 List MPs in addition to its 20 Electorate MPs.
Who decides the date of the next election?
The Prime Minister sets the date of the election. Before Parliament’s maximum term of three years is over, the Prime Minister must decide when the next general election will be held.
Note that the Prime Minister can call an early election at any time – known as a ‘snap election’ or early election. However, snap elections aren’t common in New Zealand.
Why can’t I vote online?
We don’t have online voting in New Zealand. It’s up to Parliament to make decisions about any changes to our voting system, like online voting.