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Letters to the Editor

The Vote at 16

The recent decision from the Supreme Court that the refusal to allow 16 year old citizens the right to vote was inconsistent with our Human Rights Laws has not been generally looked at clearly. Firstly, the case was brought by a group of 16 year olds, so the court ruled on their question only. The ruling can be extended to any age group, two year olds voting perhaps. The Judge also used the word inconsistent as our rights to vote are enshrined in our Human Rights Laws as being for those with a minimum age of 18. Yet this is inconsistent with another clause which states there is to be no discrimination based upon age.

So a thinking Government could move to remove that inconsistency, but then I have never accused this Government of thinking. It looks like we will be left with no discrimination of anything based upon age. What an opportunity for the population of Whitianga.

The first discriminatory rule that comes to mind is the rule that those aged 80 or over must have a drivers test every two years. This is grossly discriminatory to our experienced citizens. If kids are allowed to cause mayhem on the roads, why can’t oldies? I was also thinking of having a go at the under twelve Tennis Champs this year, except I was worried about being run down. But I wasn’t going to be put off by age. There are so many areas of so called age discrimination which could be re-looked at. Why do five year olds have to go to school? They could be out working. This could lead to a resurgence in our mining industry. And of course it is so unfair that you have to be sixteen to smoke, I’m sure most eight year olds would love to give it a go.

Our politicians have a choice between an intelligent decision or a stupid one. History tells us that stupidity will win.


Trevor Ammundsen

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