A third of young people living in the Mt Albert electorate apparently don’t want to trouble themselves with democracy – they failed to enrol to vote in the election.
Actual age-bracket voting statistics aren’t yet available, but enrolments for people aged between 18 and 30 suggest a lack of engagement in politics and its importance to our lives.
Just 67.61% of eligible voters aged between 18 and 24 bothered to enrol – against the national average of 72.29 per cent. In neighbouring Mt Roskill, the figure was 71.66 per cent.
For those aged 25 to 29, the news was even worse, with only 65.52 per cent of the grouping taking the trouble to fill out an enrolment form – compared to 80.06 per cent nationally and 68.74 per cent in Mt Roskill.
Things were a little better in the 30-34 bracket (78.87 per cent), but the levels were still well below the national average (90.02 per cent) and Mt Roskill (83.95 per cent).
Virtually everyone aged older than 40 did enrol, bringing the Mt Albert average enrolment figure to 88.71 per cent (against the national average of 92.39 per cent).
A look back at the last two election results shows this is no new development, though it was worse this year. In both those polls Mt Albert enrolments were at an overall 90 per cent, well behind the national averages of 94 per cent (2011) and 93 per cent (2014).
The electorate also covers Pt Chevalier, Westmere and Grey Lynn, so the poor engagement of younger voters is not purely a local Mt Albert problem.
But in an affluent seat where “connection” should be high, it shows the big party administrations there’s plenty of work to do in the lead-up to the 2020 election.