Statistics New Zealand has marked Suffrage Day with a media release which says voting-age women in New Zealand outnumbered men by about 137,000 at the 2013 Census, and women are more likely to vote.
In 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. This year, Suffrage Day (September 19) comes just as local government voting papers go out on 16–21 September.
Census figures showed there were more than 1.66 million women in New Zealand aged 18 years and over (18+), compared with about 1.53 million men.
Women on average live longer than men which will account for some of the difference but just as women are more likely to vote, I wonder if they’re more likely to fill out census forms.
Women are more likely than men to vote in general and local government elections, according to past Statistics NZ General Social Surveys. In a survey after the 2011 general election more than 80 percent of women said they voted, compared with about 77 percent of men.
Almost 95 percent of women and men aged 65+ years said they voted in the 2011 general election, compared with just over half of those aged 18 to 24.
Voter turnout is lower for local government elections, at less than 65 percent for women and 62 percent for men. However, 87 percent of all those aged 65+ said they’d voted in local elections in a 2012 survey, compared with just 28 percent of people aged 18 to 24.
Census figures for 2013 showed there were 1.19 million European women in New Zealand aged 18+ years. There were about 193,000 Māori women in that age group, closely followed by almost 187,000 Asian women. Pacific women aged 18+ totalled about 90,000.
The candidates in my district and regional council wards have been elected unopposed which means the only decision I’ll have to make is whether to support the sitting mayor, Gary Kircher, or his challenger whose name escapes me.
The mayor is generally considered to have worked well in his first term so I’ll be voting to give him a second one.