Nelson College’s Josh Sheridan and Allize Mangar have already voted early. Photos: Erin Bradnock.

Nelson’s first timers cast their vote


With many young locals voting for the first time in this election, reporter Erin Bradnock asked them what they were wanting out of their respective ballots.

Nelson College’s Josh Sheridan and Allize Mangar have already voted early.

“I voted yesterday with my Mum. I was surprised by how easy it was,” says Josh.

Allize agrees: “I went with some friends over the weekend. It was cool. It was so quick and easy.”

Both say they’ve been impressed with Jacinda Ardern’s leadership and her performance in the leaders’ debates.

Each have gotten their policy information from Facebook and the leaders’ debates.

Josh and Allize say their friends who can are all voting this year. “I think everyone’s pretty aware of this election. It was also super easy to enrol,” says Josh.

Nelson College for Girl student Esther Walters.

Nelson College for Girls student Esther Walters just made the cut for this year’s election due to the date being pushed back to the October 17.

“I’m super excited that I can vote now,” says Esther.

“Voting is not just for the white old people, it needs to be everyone voting because this is how things will change. Vote for people who will positively impact your community.”

Esther says she would be considering many issues when casting her vote this year including mental health, homelessness and poverty.

Esther wishes there was more education around politics to address the consistently low youth voter turnout.

“We need some good education that isn’t confusing. That tells us how it is so we are set up for the rest of our lives to make meaningful decisions about who and how to vote.”

Nayland College’s Ruby Vidgen.

Nayland College’s Ruby Vidgen has also cast her vote early, after walking past by a polling booth last week with a friend.

Ruby considers herself a political person and has been keeping up with party policies through the televised debates.

Ruby considered policy regarding conservation, housing and mental health while deciding who to vote for.

“Mental health is a big one for me, I feel like I haven’t seen any improvement over the past decade as the issue just worsens,” she says.

When it comes to conservation policy, Ruby says she has not been particularly impressed with any of the parties’ policies.

“I’m more concerned with conservation over carbon limits and things. I think New Zealand and our government should be focussing a lot more on conservation.”