A website has been launched to encourage an interest in politics and voting by young people by engaging them online.
The website Vote Kiwi has been launched in Hamilton at two schools and will now be rolled out across all secondary schools in the country.
On the website students can give their opinions on issues, initiate debate on any topic and vote in polls.
Vote Kiwi creator David Seedhouse said it gave young people the chance to express themselves by ultilising technology they knew and loved.
"They are so engaged about everything in the world, they are optimistic about the world, they think they can change the world," he said.
"In a way, they are already more politically engaged than adults because adults sort of give up, really, because we get beaten down. The kids haven't been beaten down yet."
Professor Seedhouse said the Vote Kiwi website was a medium that would motivate self-learning, critical thinking and political engagement.
"Hopefully by engaging students at secondary school level, an impressionable age, we can motivate interest in government and increased voting by young adults."
Dylan Woodhouse, 13, is a student at St Paul's Collegiate School in Hamilton. He said young people were naturally going to bring up the issues more relevant to them.
"Even so, I would imagine if you raised a political policy in front of a student, they are bound to have an opinion on it," he said.
Fellow St Paul's student Eliza Larkman, who is in Year 13, believed getting young people interested in national and international affairs was made much easier by using a website and language young people understood.
"The news is directed at adults," she said. "A website like Vote Kiwi has everything we need to interact with people our age."
Fairfield College student Hannah Flavell, 14, had no interest in politics until introduced to the Vote Kiwi website. "I understand now that politics is very important. It's like the core of how our economy is working."
Josh Blacklaws is also at Fairfield College in Hamilton and is in Year 10. He said it was important that politicians took note of the views of young people even if they couldn't vote yet.
"Young people are the next generation and we will be running this country in 20 years time and it's not fair if people older than us decide what is going to happen for our futures."
Students from participating schools will be invited to take part in a mock general election on 15 September, five days out from the real election.
St Paul's Collegiate is the lead school in the project and Defyd Williams, the school's head of social sciences, said the mock-vote would be run exactly the same way.
Students would be given two votes, one for their local candidate and the other a party vote, he said. "We will then see who 'wins' on that basis."
Mr Williams said the website's importance as a political sounding-board would increase as more schools joined.