by Megan Wolak

Politics: the last thing anyone our age wants to talk about. Okay, we get it; there is the chance Jacinda Ardern could pop out a kid in the next few years. And yes, Bill English is in the minority of New Zealanders who like spaghetti on their pizza. But all these things aside, I’m here to tell you why your tick on a piece of paper will be the highlight of your year.

Well, “year” might be a bit of an exaggeration. If you’re anything like me, a 20-year-old curly haired girl, this will be your first election. Congratulations! We’ve reached the ripe old age of at least 18 where we have been given the privilege to vote. Now, we must use it wisely!

While you might be thinking “What does it matter if I vote or not? I’d rather be hung-over in bed from last night’s bender than go to my local primary school to vote,” it is so important to get out there and have your say. Here a few reasons to back me up:

  1. Kate Sheppard. This New Zealand legend found on our ten-dollar note worked so hard to give women the right to vote. It is only right for us to appreciate this freedom she gave us. With the possibility of a female being the next prime minister, why would you not appreciate the opportunity to say whether or not you agree with this?
  2. I’m not sure about you, but the comment about young people not caring about the election has really gotten old. Isn’t it the best feeling when you get to prove the older generation wrong? Get yourself enrolled and vote on Election Day. Then, proudly wear your “I’ve Voted” sticker in front of your local retirement home. They’ll hate you for killing their conversation!
  3. Avert disaster. Now, while this article is to show no bias towards any NZ party, the United States is another story. Please, for the sake of our country, give your vote to who you believe is right. If your vote was for an over-tanned, over-bleached reality star running for prime minister, my opinion of you would not change. As long as you gave your vote.
  4. Make this article purposeful. In the time you’ve spent reading this, you would’ve been able to tick your vote and be on your way. I could’ve been spending my time working on assignments but instead, I’m here telling you why it’s important to vote. Don’t be the reason I’ve lost marks on an assignment because you didn’t feel like voting! (That’s right, I used the guilt card.)

Your first step towards ticking the box is getting enrolled. Unitec is currently offering stations around campus where you can sign up or you can always pop on into the post office. Already enrolled? Great! You’re in the good books.

On the 23 September, Election Day will be upon us. Check out online where your local voting station is. Hot tip: get the gang together to vote at the same time, that way you have a reason to go out for lunch and get that smashed avocado on toast that we know we can’t afford.