Civic Engagement

Voter turnout — general elections

Voter turnout rates help to show how people feel about central government. This includes the confidence they have in political institutions, the importance they attach to them, and whether they feel their participation in general elections can make a difference. In New Zealand, the enrolment of eligible electors is compulsory, but voting is not.

This indicator presents the voter turnout (proportion of eligible electors who cast a vote) in general elections, for greater Christchurch and New Zealand, for 2014, 2017, and 2020.

In 2020, 86 percent of enrolled electors in greater Christchurch voted in the general election (up from 79% in 2014 and 82% in 2017). Nationally, the voter turnout was slightly lower than in greater Christchurch at all three elections, for example at 82 percent of enrolled electors in 2020 [10].

In 2019 the Representation Commission reviewed the electorate boundaries and names across New Zealand for the 2020 and 2023 general elections [11]. Subsequently Selwyn, the fastest growing electorate, lost the Banks Peninsula area to the newly-named Banks Peninsula electorate (formerly Port Hills). Adjustments were also made to Ilam, Wigram, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch East and Rangitata electorates [11].

The figure shows increased voter turnout in the general elections for all electorates in greater Christchurch, from 2014 to 2020.

The figure shows that in 2020, 82 percent of enrolled Māori electors in greater Christchurch voted in the general election compared to 86 percent of non-Māori. The voter turnout for Māori in greater Christchurch has increased at each election for which data are shown (73% in 2014 and 78% in 2017).

The figure shows an increase in voter turnout for younger people in greater Christchurch between 2014 and 2020, with the largest increase being among those aged 18 to 24 years. Younger voters in greater Christchurch (84% turnout for 18 to 24 year-olds in 2020 up from 66% in 2014) had higher voter turnout than their peers nationally (78% turnout in 2020 - New Zealand data not shown in figure above).

Data Sources

Source: Electoral Commission.
Survey/data set: Administrative data. Access publicly available data from the Electoral Commission website
Source data frequency: Three yearly.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 07/04/2022