Youth MPs across political parties have come out in support of Make it 16. More than half of the 120 Youth MPs have signed onto an open letter calling for Parliament to lower the voting age for both local and general elections.
Youth MP and Make it 16 Co-Director Cate Tipler (they/them) spoke in Parliament, “Youth Parliament is proof that the decisions being made by politicians today will impact young people the most. ”
“Our parliament has told us they recognise we care about our communities. They’ve told us we can give speeches on the importance of voting. They’ve told us we’re more than capable of discussing and debating complex issues, and our MPs have told us we should support their party policy.”
“The only thing not real about Youth Parliament is that many of us will not have the right to vote in this year’s local election, or even next year’s general election.”
“Youth Parliament’s debate on the youth wage highlighted the barriers young workers face, and emphasised the importance of giving more rangatahi a voice in parliament by extending the voting age to 16 and 17-year-olds.” says Youth MP and Make It 16 member Ethan Rogacion (he/him)
“The starting-out wage is just one of many ways that successive governments have ignored the real needs of young people, and demonstrates the importance of having voices representing young New Zealanders in this House. 16 and 17 year-olds should have a say on whether they can be paid a lower minimum wage than everyone else.” says Ethan.
Lowering the voting age was supported in speeches across the house including by Youth MPs Layba Zubair, Joel Holdsworth, and Willow Heron.