Community Engagement – General Election.
Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust (ARMS) is ensuring that local ethnic communities are ‘election-ready’ and will have their voices heard by the key political parties prior to the upcoming General Election.
ARMS is pleased to partner with the NZ Electoral Commission to engage with Auckland’s ethnic communities about the importance of exercising their right and responsibility to vote.
Through a series of community workshops and forums, ARMS is informing our culturally diverse communities about the democratic right to vote, what this involves, and how their members can have a say as to who should govern our country.
These NZ General Election workshops will be run with Auckland’s African, Indian, Pacific, Middle Eastern, South East Asian, Filipino and Russian communities, with language support where necessary to support their understanding of the voting process including how to enrol, how they can cast a special vote if they wish, and how the MMP system works. Unbiased information will be presented about the policies of each political party as they relate to key concerns of different ethnic communities.
Through the community election workshops, ARMS will also be gathering up the views of ethnic communities about their most pressing issues. These will be presented at a multi-ethnic forum where representatives of all the major parties will have the chance to say what their party can offer Auckland’s ethnically diverse communities. Representatives from each community will be invited to participate in this forum to get a sense of which party would be best to represent their concerns.
New migrants and ethnic people who are permanent residents and over the age of 18, are among those who are eligible to vote in New Zealand’s General Election in September 2017.
To be able to vote you need to enrol before election day, so now’s the time to enrol, check or update your details.
- Enrolment is not automatic – but it is easy!
- All you need to do is fill in an enrolment form. It is okay to ask for help to fill in your enrolment form. Information is available in different languages.
- You can get an enrolment form from any PostShop, or by free texting your name and address to 3676, or by a request from the elections website www.elections.org.nz or Freephone 0800 36 76 56.
For more information, you can visit the Electoral Commission’s website www.elections.org.nz.
ENROL AND VOTE
New Zealanders are lucky to live in a democracy, and we can all play our part in keeping our democracy strong by getting on the electoral roll and voting. It means we can take part in local elections, when we choose the people who will make decisions about our local areas, and general elections, when we choose the parties and politicians who will represent us in Parliament.
It also means we get to have a say on big national issues through public referendum.
Who can enrol?
In New Zealand the law says that you must be enrolled on the electoral roll. You must enrol if you:
- are 18 years or older, and
- have lived in New Zealand for more than one year continuously at some time in your life, and
- are a New Zealand citizen, or
- are a permanent resident of New Zealand*.
* Cook Island Maori, Niueans and Tokelauans can enrol once they have lived in New Zealand continuously for 12 months. They do not require permanent residency to be eligible to enrol and vote.
Only those who are enrolled can vote, take part in a referendum, or sign a referendum petition.
How do I enrol?
Getting on the roll is easy! You can get on the roll now, or get a form sent to you by Free texting your name and address to 3676 or calling 0800 36 76 56.You can also pick up a form at your local PostShop. The form will ask you for information about yourself.
When you have enrolled, your name will go on the electoral roll, which is the list of people who have enrolled and are allowed to vote.
If you are concerned about your safety if your name goes on the Electoral Roll, you can ask to go on the Unpublished Roll. Find out more about the Unpublished Roll.
If you need help to fill in your form, because of language or disability issues, you can ask someone else to help you, or you can contact your local Registrar of Electors.
How do I vote?
Every three years New Zealand holds a general election. This is when you choose the people and political parties who will make the decisions about the way New Zealand is run.
In New Zealand, we use a voting system called MMP. In a general election, you have two votes. The first vote is the party vote, where you vote for the political party that you most want to see in Parliament. This is called the party vote and largely decides the total number of seats each political party gets in Parliament.
With your second vote you can choose the person you most want to be your local Member of Parliament. They will represent your electorate, which is the geographical region you are enrolled in. The person who gets the most votes in your electorate will be your local Member of Parliament.
What address should I enrol with?
You should enrol at the address that you regard as your home. It could be that you are a student in another city but go home for holidays, or that you work in one city during the week and another on weekends. It is your choice as to which place feels most like home to you.
Can I get help to enrol and vote?
If you are unable to fill in the enrolment form, a support person can help you, or fill in the form on your behalf.
A support person can come with you when you vote. They can go behind the voting screen with you, and can read out the words and information on the voting papers. The support person can also mark the voting papers for you if you ask them to.
Voting is secret. You do not need to tell anyone who you have voted for.
Information on enrolling to vote is available in: Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Niuean, Somali, Thai, Tokelauan, Tongan, Vietnamese, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, and Punjabi.