The New Zealand Supreme Court has ruled in favour of lowering the voting age to 16.
‘Justice France told the court it was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights to not allow 16-year-olds to vote, and the decision of the Court of Appeal was overturned.’
Jacinda Ardern announced the same day, 21 November, that the Cabinet had decided ‘to draft a piece of legislation with a proposal to lower the age to 16 for the whole of Parliament to consider’. While the required 75% majority makes its success unlikely, Labour’s present majority means this may be its best chance for a long time, and if the Bill does gets through, it will be very difficult to reverse. However it comes at an interesting time:
Education standards are plummeting
Nearly two-thirds of students failed the writing standard in the latest NCEA literacy and numeracy pilot, released in October. The highest pass rate was the reading standard, with 64% of students scoring an achieved or higher. That was followed by numeracy at 56% and writing at 34%. Those pass rates were even lower than the results in 2021, which themselves were a matter of concern for educators.
At the same time, truancy is skyrocketing. Earlier this month Education Review Office warned that NZ has worse school attendance than other English-speaking countries and many parents don’t care if their children miss classes. Children failing in the 3Rs, and their reluctance to attend school, can in part be put down to the destructive pandemic measures, ranging from disruption to schooling to enforced mask wearing. Another factor could be:
NZ education consists of wall to wall indoctrination, manipulation and abuse
The New Zealand school curriculum exposes children to every kind of damaging wokery, including:
- Critical race theory, whereby children have imposed upon them colonial guilt if of European descent, and victimhood and inferiority if Maori. The capacity for bullying in the classroom of racial minorities of Maori or European descent is huge.
- Conscious grooming for gender transition (leading to counselling, puberty blockers, mutilation, sterility, and more counselling);
- Endless lies about ‘climate change’, with children consciously indoctrinated to become activists for the pseudoscience ‘climate change’ narrative, and no room for critical thinking.
This last is especially significant, as it is expected that giving children the vote will ensure support for the climate change agenda and indeed it is often cited as a good reason: it is assumed that because they are most effected (they’ll live longer), therefore they care the most, so they will make the right decisions. Make It 16, who took the case to the Supreme Court, argue that:
Climate change poses an existential threat to young people and our future generations.
Next year is election year, and Labour is set to lose
Polls show that support for Labour is evaporating (the Newshub Reid Research Poll for November being particularly unfavourable), and there is a good chance that after the 2023 election National will be able to form a government with the support of ACT and maybe NZ First. Having 100,000 or so children voting as instructed by their teachers could only benefit the Hard Left, if not this election then future ones.
There is huge opposition
The public is adamantly opposed to lowering the voting age. As Bryce Edwards points out: ‘Poll after poll shows that about three-quarters of the public is not yet convinced that it’s a good idea. In recent years there have been several polls on lowering the voting age, in 2020 at least three showing 70%, 85% and 88% respectively in favour of the status quo. The online community group Neighbourly ran a poll finishing today (23 November), with the final figures being 79.2 against the change.
Of the current opposition parties, Chris Luxon says the National Party does not see a need for change, confirmed by Justice spokesman Paul Goldsmith, in a press release which typically shifted the focus to other priorities (also typical is Deputy Nicola Willis continuing to post on social media about inflation rates while ignoring the issue of the voting age). ACT leader David Seymour is more forthright:
‘ACT rejects calls to lower the voting age to 16 following the Supreme Court’s ruling. […] “We don’t want 120,000 more voters who pay no tax voting for lots more spending. The Supreme Court needs to stick to its knitting and quit the judicial activism.’
Who wants it?
The case was taken to the Supreme Court by a group called Make It 16, formed in September 2019 as ‘a non-partisan youth-led campaign advocating for the vote to be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds in Aotearoa’. The group is the likely stimulus for all the polls in 2020 onward. In April 2022 the group was granted leave for its case to be heard in the Supreme Court after it failed in the High Court and Court of Appeal in 2020 and 2021.
Lowering the voting age is official Green policy, and Make It 16’s launching event in 2020 was hosted by Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick. Coincidentally, or not, the Greens have the most to gain, with a generation of brainwashed school kids, convinced that they will be failing if they don’t convince the government to act NOW on climate change, and encouraged to vote by their (very often) equally brainwashed teachers. Labour has had no explicit policy, though Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor also spoke at Make It 16’s launch. Jacinda Ardern, who appears to be in lockstep with Green policy on every other issue, has signified support for the change.
The Maori Party / Te Pāti Māori have also expressed support.
Last election a National MP fed me the line that it was ‘good to let young people vote, as it gets them in the habit’. Given the Labour / Greens’ huge majority, it will only take a few Nats to think the same way to get it through.
So why now?
Only Parliament can decide if the law will change, 75% support in the House is needed and the opposition from National and ACT should be enough: 90 out of 120 seats are required, and Labour /Greens / Maori Party currently have 77. Ardern has indicated support for a conscious vote: ‘I accept different politicians will have different views. Mine is one of 120’. She may be hoping that enough National voters will cross the floor and support the change (like turkeys voting for Christmas) and indeed one National MP (now former) expressed support to me last election for lowering the vote because ‘it would get them in the habit of voting’. However, she has said that the legislation will not be passed before the coming election.
Given the huge level of opposition to the proposal, and the unlikelihood that any change will affect the next, crucial, election, the decision to go ahead now seems hard to justify. Whether or not it is passed, it will almost certainly damage Labour’s election chances. One would have expected Labour to wait until safely after the coming election, as they did with gender self-identification,.
Bryce Edwards has confirmed that: ‘The general convention – which Jacinda Ardern reiterated yesterday – is for the implementation of significant electoral law changes to only take place for the election after the next one’. He doesn’t say that it is law, however. Some likely reasons for the decision to plough ahead:
- In October 2021 Jacinda Ardern introduced mandatory vaccinations, accepting (rather gleefully) the creation of a two tier society, despite having on numerous occasions denied that was the intention, even claiming that the idea was a conspiracy theory. Her stated intentions cannot therefore be considered reliable. In the context of lowering the voting age, I will stick my neck out and say that there is a strong possibility that, given her penchant for fast tracking legislation, with few complaints from the public, Ardern is not necessarily committed to this conventional delay, and may be hoping to push through the change in voting age in time for it to be in effect for the 2023 election.
- If Jacinda does manage to get the Bill through, it will be almost impossible to reverse by subsequent governments, so Labour and the Greens will reap the benefit in subsequent elections.
- In any case, the idea will grow: already opponents are being vilified as ‘right-wing’ or ‘selfish old people’.
Given that Labour is on track to being voted out this election, maybe the punt is not so silly after all.
STOP PRESS: Last night the NZ Parliament went into urgency to last to Friday or maybe Saturday. This was 22 November, the day after the ruling from the Supreme Court on the the voting age and Jacinda Ardern’s announcement that legislation would be drafted to give effect to the ruling. According to Simon O’Connor, in a piece to camera they are hoping to action 29 pieces of legislation, including the controversial Water Services Entities Bill.
Today they’re announcing mandatory vaccination. Just so you know, this is what Ardern, Hipkins and Bloomfield said earlier this year, calling mandatory vaccination "social media misinformation". pic.twitter.com/KTwztwMcbo
— 〽️🅰️©️☪️🔼 (@_MaccaNZ) October 11, 2021