7 Sep 2014

Anger fuels youth voter apathy

1:09 pm on 7 September 2014

A behavioural psychologist who studies young New Zealanders says their low level of voter enrolment is partly fuelled by anger and dissatisfaction.

Jacqueline Smart said the Identity Insight Report reveals young New Zealanders see the Kiwi dream as no longer possible, due to student loans and high house prices.

Ms Smart told Sunday Morning this shift had fundamentally changed the group's values, and how they relate to politics.

"Part of the lack of people potentially enrolling is not just their anger and dissatisfaction, because when you have a loss of a big dream you get quite bereft - there's a grief there.

"But also I think becuase there's a more mature realistic expectation that the government is not a panacea or can't come in and fix everything and make everything okay."

Ms Smart said the culture shift will force a change in how political parties communicate with young people.