Urupounamu Episode three - Should the Voting Age be 16?

From Te Ahi Kaa, 6:04 pm on 11 October 2020
Urupounamu hosts Ngairo Eruera, Justine Murray and Te Kehukehu Patara.

Urupounamu hosts Ngairo Eruera, Justine Murray and Te Kehukehu Patara. Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

In August this year the campaign ‘Make it 16’ was spearheaded by a group of young people from Wellington that argued that the current voting age of 18 was unjustified age discrimination.

The group took their case to the High Court in Wellington, but earlier this month Justice Jan-Marie Doogue argued that that age of 18 was justified, despite the decision the ‘Make it 16’ youth group intend to write to political parties to gauge their views on lowering the voting age to 16.

On episode three of Urupounamu the hosts talk about the complexity of age and maturity. Is there a magic number when a young person is deemed ‘mature enough’ to vote? Voter turnout for the 18-24 bracket in the last election was low, the hosts discuss whether the age of 16 will simply add to the pool of low voter turnout. We head to a local wharekura where students share their thoughts about lowering the voting age to 16 and why some support the move while others are happy with the status quo.

Urupounamu is a kōrero session on kaupapa effecting Māori and focused on the tangata whenua experience in this forever changing modern world.  RNZ Producer Justine Murray, Māori Language Kaiako, Ngairo Eruera, and Moana Radio host Te Kehukehu Patara, lay their whakaaro on the tēpu, challenge each other and themselves.   Urupounamu will feature as a regular series on Te Ahi Kaa, it is recorded in the studio at  Moana Radio station in Tauranga and is available as a podcast.


Te Kehukehu Patara

Te Kehukehu Patara Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Te Kehukehu Patara (Ngai te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui) is a host of the daily te reo Māori show Te Pae Moana on Moana Radio, a former crane operator at the Tauranga port for many years, he is a native speaker and has travelled the world with his superstar surfer grandson Kehu Butler. He enjoys spending time with his whanau, and still loves to surf.

Ngairo Eruera

Ngairo Eruera Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Ngairo Eruera (Ngāti Ranginui, Tuhoe, Ngāti Awa) is a Māori language kaiako and consultant at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, he is a member of the Waikato based kapahaka group Te Iti Kahurangi and after spending 20+ years in the Waikato moved back home to live with his whānau in Katikati. He enjoys working around home and in the māra, researching tribal and local history and working within communities to enhance communal knowledge.


Justine Murray

Justine Murray Photo: RNZ/Justine Murray

Justine Murray (Ngai te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui) is the producer and presenter of Te Ahi Kaa the weekly kaupapa Māori programme at RNZ.  Justine began her career in Iwi radio as a Journalist, announcer, copywriter and programme director, she is a writer, poet and is in her third year of studies at Te Whare Wānanga o Te Awanuiārangi in Whakatane. Justine enjoys spending time with whanau.