Valuing Our Vote - 2014 Conference

The Electoral Commission has brought together local and international leaders in voter participation to consider the barriers and behaviours that impact on civic participation. Hear from experts on the issues involved and discuss ideas, initiatives and solutions that will help address voter decline in New Zealand.

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May 29, 2014, Wellington

International keynotes

Democracy under the spotlight: an international perspective on the scale and impact of voter decline

Voter participation in developed democracies worldwide is generally sliding downwards, but what are the implications on voter decline on the health of our democracy? Where does New Zealand fit within this picture? Author and expert on politics and electoral systems Professor David Farrell (University College Dublin) brings an international viewpoint to the issues facing New Zealand’s democratic participation.

Watch the videos from this session here.

Rock the Vote – lessons from a US success story

Rock the Vote know better than anyone what it takes to reconnect young people with the power of their vote. Their goal is to motivate and mobilise youth participation in elections, and for over 20 years they have been at the forefront of youth voter participation in the US, developing world-leading, non-partisan mobilisation and citizenship education programmes. What can New Zealand learn from their experience and expertise?

Watch the videos from this session here.

New Zealand expertise

A Growing Problem – New Zealand’s non-voters and what we know about them

Understanding a problem is the first step to finding a solution.  We need a clear picture of non-voters – who they are, what motivates them, what discourages them – to start re-engaging New Zealanders with the value of their vote. Professor Jack Vowles (Victoria University, Wellington) and a panel of New Zealand experts present and discuss new analysis and new perspectives on voter behaviour.

Watch the videos from this session here.

A focus on Solutions

Turning it around – presentations and panel discussion with those on the front line of behaviour change.

Session 1: Everybody’s business – building voter participation at a national level
Many organisations and institutions are key to driving voter participation.  A panel discuss the place and role of media, political parties, government agencies, education (and more) in encouraging New Zealanders to vote.

Watch the videos from this session here.

Session 2: Bigger than the ballot box – achieving effective community engagement.
Engagement comes in many forms, and behaviour change has many faces. Hear from speakers who are successfully engaging with the harder-to-reach, at both a national and local level, to find out what does work.

Watch the videos from this session here.

Where to from here?

Dr Therese Arseneau (University of Canterbury) brings together the day's insights, ideas and possibilities.

Watch the videos from this session here.

The day's agenda is available for download below.

Two workshops on voter participation were also held in May.


Last updated: 18 December 2014