The tamariki at St Heliers Kindergarten have always had an interest in questions like,

“Who is the Prime Minister of New Zealand?”

“What does the Prime Minister actually do?”

“Where does the Prime Minister work?”

Some of the tamariki had made a copy of the beehive building with the magnetic tiles, after one of the teachers brought a photo of the building back from a trip to Wellington.

The kindergarten wrote to the Prime Minister’s office a while ago about climate change, and received a response from her. St Heliers have invited her to come and visit them at kindergarten, if she is in Auckland.

Some of the tamariki drew great drawings of the current Prime Minister so St Heliers Kindergarten thought it would be fun to learn a bit more about the election this year.

The teachers asked the tamariki if they had heard about it at all, and they responded that yes, they had heard about the election and they had seen the hoardings around St Heliers. Some of them had seen the Prime Minister and the leader of the National Party on TV during the debates.

St Heliers decided to learn about how an election would work at their kindergarten.

They looked at photos of the leaders of the all the parties, such as Jacinda Ardern, Judith Collins, James Shaw and Marama Davidson, Winston Peters and David Seymour.

They looked at their party logos and tried to see those logos out and about in the community.

They learned that you voted for your favourite party, and then all the votes were counted, and then the party with the most votes won, and could form a government. (Maybe with some help from their friends, if needed.)

Tamariki learned that you had to be at least 18 to vote in the real election, but that they could have our own election at kindergarten.

So, the team chose some parties to vote for. They had a Lion Party, a Cheetah Party, a Tiger Party, a Monkey Party, a Giraffe Party and an Elephant Party.

St Heliers Kindergarten’s election day was officially Friday 16th October, but as not all the tamariki attend on a Friday, they decided to allow some early ‘special’ votes to occur.

Last Friday, voting was steady all morning, with a big rush early on.

Voting was complete by 11am, and the votes were all counted, and an announcement was made at the pre-lunch mat time.

Well done to the Cheetah Party. An outright winner with 12 votes. The Elephants came second and the Lions came in third.

The team received a lot of positive feedback from whānau about what a great idea the kindergarten election was, and how much the tamariki had enjoyed the experience and had discussed it at home.

“Olivia was proudly telling everybody that she got to vote at kindy. Sadly the Elephant Party didn’t win, obviously they will need to work on their campaign for next election. Thanks so such an awesome idea Jacqui!”

“That was such a great idea, very good learning for our little ones.”

“Such a cool thing to do with the kids. Emmy has been talking about it a lot! She loved it.”

At St Heliers Kindergarten, they believe that they are all responsible for taking care of the amazing country we live in, and you are never too young to learn about the many ways we can do this.