National News

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Government rules out lowering voting age

Jan 16, 2024

Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith has ruled out several recommendations from the Independent Electoral Review set up by the previous government.

The minister has released the final report of the review today, which makes over 140 recommendations, after it was delivered to him at the end of November 2023.

Goldsmith ruled out action on some recommendations, including:

  • Lowering the voting age to 16
  • Allowing all prisoners to vote and stand for Parliament
  • Freezing the ratio of electorate to list seats, which would lead to an increase in the number of MPs over time
  • Repealing the offence of 'treating' voters with refreshments and entertainment

A further recommendation for a referendum on the term of Parliament was a matter already being looked at by the incoming government, with agreement to introduce legislation for a four-year term subject to a binding referendum.

The review was set up by former justice minister Kris Faafoi in May 2022. The reviewers released their initial findings in an interim report in June last year.

Main image: RNZ/Angus Dreaver

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