New Zealand

Section 3. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process

The law provides citizens the ability to choose their government through free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage.

Elections and Political Participation

Recent Elections: Following the most recent general election held in September 2017, the Labour Party formed a coalition government with the New Zealand First Party and with Green Party support, led by Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern as prime minister. Although the ruling National Party won the greatest number of seats in parliament, 58 of 120, it was unable to form a governing coalition and became the official parliamentary opposition.

Voter turnout in the general election was 79 percent, while turnout in designated Maori electorates was lower and ranged from 60 percent to 69 percent. In South Auckland electorates with a high percentage of Pacific Island voters, turnout was 69 percent.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future