New Zealand’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the voting age of 18 is discriminatory since citizens are considered adults in other areas at 16.
The decision that is likely to change laws for 16-year-olds to vote is supported by the nation’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
NZ SC says human rights violated by preventing youth votes. One Cambridge academic wants 6 year olds to vote. What do you reckon?
— 𑆩𑆳𑆬𑆴𑆤𑆵 Sarah L Gates (@SarahLGates1) November 21, 2022
“The suit brought by Make It 16 argued more specifically that the 1990 Bill of Rights Act forbid ‘age discrimination’ against young people unless the age limits could be ‘justified.’ Since New Zealanders can legally drive, work full-time, and pay taxes at age 16, the group argued that limiting the vote to ages 18 and up was unjustified,” Breitbart News reported.
“The Supreme Court agreed on Monday and Ardern immediately announced her government would introduce legislation to lower the voting age,” it added.
New Zealand Supreme Court rules voting age of 18 is discriminatory https://t.co/dVHSPpE2OL
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 21, 2022
“The issue must now be brought to parliament, after the court ruled that New Zealand’s minimum voting age of 18 was inconsistent with the country’s Bill of Rights – which gives people who are 16 years and over the right to be free from age discrimination,” BBC News reported.
“The ruling does not mean that the voting age will definitely be lowered,” it added.
New Zealand Supreme Court rules that a voting age of 18 violates provisions in the country’s bill of rights that guarantee New Zealanders freedom from discrimination once they reach 16. https://t.co/a7Z4QiOgcb
— Michael Li 李之樸 (@mcpli) November 21, 2022
The voting age bill would have to be passed by three-fourths of the legislature.
With some parties not supporting the change, it is uncertain whether it will pass for now.
The new ruling makes the case for the change, but it will take a legislative act to make the 16-year-old voting move official.