2020 Election Date has been announced – why for the sake of democratic participation it should be a mid week public holiday


Jacinda has announced the 2020 Election Date and it is September 19th.

Great, but as our participation rate continues to slip, I believe we urgently need to consider a new unique approach to our election day.

Academic research tells us that online voting will not lift participation rates, and the ease of hacking them mean they can never be acceptable, but I believe making the election a mid week public holiday could save our democracy and give us something to celebrate.

We complain so much in this country about not having a day we can celebrate as NZers because many people feel anxious about the conflict of Waitangi Day.

Why not search for that which binds us and celebrate that?

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Election Day should be a celebration because we are one of the few privileged nations around the planet that allows political leadership to change hands minus violence and repression.

Our exercising of the right to vote peacefully is celebration in itself and making it a mid week public holiday would do more for participation rates than any single thing we could do.

Postal voting is a failure, online isn’t trust worthy, an old fashioned polling day with early voting that culminates in a mid week public holiday that everyone can celebrate would bind us and build us like no other idea could.

Imagine a mid week day where the whanau gather and go to vote while gathering at each others homes for the results. We could celebrate our democracy and celebrate us as a people.

We are only talking about 2 Election Days once every 3 years (a local government vote and a central government vote) so any argument that we couldn’t afford the loss of productivity is bullshit.

We need an out of the box idea, not more tinkering at the edges.

Our democracy is precious, it’s worth celebrating, and enabling participation is crucial to its survival and mandate. Making the election day a public holiday Wednesday is how we cement into place the importance of voting.


  1. Our democracy is precious, it’s worth celebrating, and enabling participation is crucial to its survival and mandate. Making the election day a public holiday Wednesday is how we cement into place the importance of voting.

    I wholeheartedly agree that our voting day should be celebrated, and people, including children, should be educated about it – as in, should be given all that they need to fully understand the value of what we have, and of how vital it is to protect this.

  2. Interesting idea, but really would New Zealanders really be any more inclined to vote if it was a public holiday?
    After all, how many people attend Waiting Day celebrations, or Anzac Day celebrations on their respective holidays?
    And how many people even have an iota of what Labour Day holiday is about? (Do we even have official Labour Day celebrations?)
    Not many in all three cases, it is just another public holiday and the chance to have a paid day off, work for a bit more money or join the tourist car jams for most of us.
    Plus I think that the promotion of advanced voting and (dare I say it) the probability of on-line voting in the future will make the question largely redundant.

  3. …’ Imagine a mid week day where the whanau gather and go to vote while gathering at each others homes for the results. We could celebrate our democracy and celebrate us as a people ‘…


    Look , back in the 1970’s when I was a child, young person, election night was a tussle of dashed expectations and jubilant triumph. It had a carnival atmosphere.

    Violent riots and vote rigging and skulduggery were not to be seen.

    And nor did we want it to be present. We abhorred that and looked down on that as something less advanced society’s did.

    There was the telephone call to the victor to the vanquished, and it was all conducted ( albeit in a spirit of disappointment to the vanquished ) in a ‘gentlemanly ‘ ( or in today’s world a gentle- womanly ) sense of fair play. There were no ifs , buts or maybes. No Dirty Politics, no smarmy backbiting, no media talking heads to spread bias’s… just a carnival atmosphere celebration of actually having the joy of voting in a free democracy.

    I’m happy with the idea of a mid week holiday, around the barbie perhaps.

    And lets not get all nasty about it.

    Mind you,… if we get rid of NEO LIBERALISM we just might have a chance at restoring civility in elections and politics once more.

    What say you?

    • As usual WK, you make perfect sense.
      And yes, the predominant political ideology of the last 3+ decades has infected and putrified much that was once good.
      And of course, those that have pushed this malevolent philosophy……..those that have promoted our transformation from citizens to customers…….aren’t at all interested in the concept of a functioning democracy.
      Instead we get THEIR choices to ‘select’ from. And wall to wall ‘free advertising’ to reinforce that.

      How else could a trichophilic psychopath and leader of the most corrupt administration in our history stay in power so long?

    • Get rid of neoliberalism? Well yes, but how do we do that when both our main political parties are neoliberal? (and the Greens are too)

  4. How many houses has this Labour Government built since 2017? I’m not talking about Housing Places as they call them now. I’m talking about homes that people can live in long term, not 3 months maximum.

    Recently released figures show the waitlist for public housing has hit a record high – reaching nearly 14,500 households.

    Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi told RNZ in a statement that the government has already delivered more than 3000 state housing places, with another 2500 to be delivered by June.

    Housing Minister Megan Woods told Newsroom via email that Kainga Ora had already delivered over 3,400 additional public houses and had begun work to upgrade thousands of older homes. Smelling like fish …

    Kāinga Ora owns 65,500 state houses that house 187,000 people and were valued at $29.1 billion midway through 2019, according to this investor briefing in October. That includes 45,000 homes that will become obsolete over the next 20 years and need to be replaced. It built 1,461 homes in 2018/19, which was above its 1,380 target and a significant way along to the Government’s Budget 2018 plan to build 6,400 new state houses over four years to 2022.

    Since 2018 it planned to build at least 1,600 new social homes each year for the next four years, including 1,000 state (Kāinga Ora) homes each year for the next four years, with an extra 600 homes a year coming from community housing providers (CHPs) .

    The Housing and Urban Development Ministry’s latest monthly public housing update showed Kāinga Ora and CHPs were ahead of their 1,600 target for the current 2019/20 year ended June 30, having completed 802 by the end of November, and they were on track for 2,650 by the end of June this year, albeit including 554 scheduled for the month of June (just before the beginning of the election campaign). Kāinga Ora is reported to be on track to produce a net 1,033 new homes for the year (including the retirement of 880 obsolete homes) and CHPs are expected to build 815.

    Yet, when you look at the snazzy little graphs, these number dont reconcile with the propaganda! Theyve only built 396 houses since June 2019. What did the little princess say about factual transparent propaganda for this years election??

  5. Yup, great idea Martyn. I’d love another paid day off as well. Lots of hype and promo leading up would be required to inform and fire up the non voters. How much celebrating if the natzos get in? Would be bloody depressing crying in my beer!

  6. “Great, but as our participation rate continues to slip, I believe we urgently need to consider a new unique approach to our election day.”

    Yep. Make voting in the general election COMPULSORY! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Don’t pay your taxes? You’re fucked.
    Don’t pay your GST? You’re fucked.
    Don’t pay your ACC? You’re fucked.
    Don’t pay your rates? You’re fucked.
    Don’t pay child support? You’re fucked.
    Don’t register or warrant your car? You’re fucked.
    Don’t enroll? You’re fucked.
    Don’t vote? Who cares, pass that sausage and the beersie because she’ll be right mate.

    Absolutely, a paid working day to go and vote but YOU MUST VOTE !
    Participate in the maintenance and upkeep of your country or you’ll get eaten alive by monsters.
    That’s why we’ve come to this. An intellectually clumsy, cluster-fuck left reeling in the wake of a cadre of soulless, greedy, cunning scum who’ve come, conquered, then scarpered with our money, stuff and things.
    You have been warned.
    ( P.S. No disrespect to actual scum. )

  7. For every woke radical leftie Jacinda turns away she can can pick up 2, maybe 3 disaffected National Party voters in the cities. Bring it on.

  8. To brighten things a bit…a remastered song from the King of Cool , Dean Martin.

    ‘When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s Amore’

    OR :

    When you swim in the sea and an eel bites your knee , that’s a moray,…

    Toes go tinga linga ling….

    As your thigh drops from your knee you know that you need to get up above…

    As your blood pressure lowers , you know that’s a moray…

    And its possible to see that your lost severed knee sinks straight down to the sea

    And that’s a moray !


    Sorry guys,… was listening to a Dean Martin song and the first line was made by some wag out there on you tube comments. I just added to it.

    I’ll shut up then.

  9. Lets be honest, our country is a run down banana republic posing as a western democracy, our politicians are useless. We have BS wages, high cost housing, food and fuel is expensive, electricity from citizen owned power generators is way overpriced, our country is stagnating and the only way our politicians are trying to boost our economy is by importing more people!
    Are they really worth voting for?

  10. it is interesting she has chosen September 19th as that is talk like a pirate day and as all politicians act like buccaneers raping and pillaging it just that some do it more than others.

    • Well can’t have September 12 because that is Walk Like an Egyptian Day and September 26 is Eat a Banana Sideways Day and I’m sure you will be involved with that Trevor.

  11. Disclaimer: This article below is not intended to be taken seriously. Just having a little fun.
    Voting policies from the Slightly Silly Party.
    1. Everyone gets met at the door by a VOTE squad and escorted to the nearest polling booth and only allowed to go free after showing the new tear-off receipt from the revised ballot paper.
    2. Everyone that votes gets 10 cents per litre discount at BP, Z, Mobil or whatever.
    3. Make voting compulsory: those who don’t vote get put in the stocks for a day and urchins can throw caged eggs and non-organic tomatoes at them.
    4. Everyone who votes goes into a draw to win a brand new Nissan Leaf EV. The number of Leaf’s available around NZ to be determined later.
    5. Ban secret ballots, go back to the old fashioned way of voting by public acclamation and then you KNOW who your opponents are, no need to guess any more.

    • 4. Everyone who votes goes into a draw to win a brand new Nissan Leaf EV.

      The shocker is that something like that could actually ‘work’, – in getting more people out to vote.

      How tragic is that, that people have more faith in a lottery system than – that their vote might actually count for something in real life terms.

  12. Heres a novel idea to encourage people to engage in NZ’s flakey democracy. Imprisonment! That’ll keep SERCO in business! It could possibly free up the housing market some?

    The poor, middle class and rich will all become equals under one roof.
    The tax take will take a hit and that in itself will justify building more Stalag to house people!

    I call that a Win! Win!

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