New Zealand politicians will vote on whether to lower the national voting age from 18 to 16, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.

This follows a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court on Monday that found its current voting age of 18 to be discriminatory, forcing Parliament to discuss whether to lower it.

The case, which has been dragging through the courts since 2020, was taken over by lobby group Make It 16.

The group says on its website that there is insufficient justification to prevent 16-year-olds from voting when they can drive, work full time and pay taxes.

Sanat Singh, its co-director, said he was absolutely delighted with the court’s decision.

“It’s a huge day,” he said. “This is historic not only for our campaign, but for the country.”

Mr Singh, 18, said existential issues such as climate change – as well as issues such as pandemic recovery and the state of democracy – will affect young people the most.

“That’s why I think it’s really important to get everyone on board to make sure we can have a stronger future,” he said.

Ms Ardern, who leads the Liberal Labor Party, said all lawmakers should have a say in the matter.

Although she said she was personally in favor of lowering the age, such a change would require a 75% majority of parliamentarians to agree, and political parties have mixed views on the subject.

The Green Party wants immediate action to lower the voting age to 16, but the largest opposition party, the National Party, does not support change.

“It’s not something we support,” its leader Christopher Luxon told reporters.

“At the end of the day, you have to draw the line somewhere, and we’re comfortable with the line at 18.”

Under New Zealand law, protection against age discrimination begins at 16.

The judges ruled that the attorney general failed to show why 18 was chosen as the voting age rather than 16.

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