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It's important to all of us to have our voices heard.

The most powerful way you can make your voice heard is by choosing who you want to advocate on your behalf.

One important factor to consider is people governing in a democracy will usually pay the most attention to the groups and people who elect them.

OUSA President Melissa Lama says voting in the local body elections is one of the things she really encourages students to do outside of their studies.

To help, the Valid Voter initiative is ready to go again for this year's elections.

She is reminding students to enrol to vote and to make that vote count.

“Valid Voter was brought in with previous president James Heath, who had a goal to ensure students are valid voters. You aren't a valid voter until you're registered to vote.

“The Valid Voter campaign is focussed on educating students on how to be a valid voter and ensuring those running the local elections are engaging with our students.

Melissa says this year's Dunedin election is particularly important as infrastructure plans will affect the North Dunedin area.

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OUSA President Melissa Lama says voting is one of the most important ways students can ensure their voice is counted.

It's a discussion she says students can be a part of by using their vote.

“If there's anything I want to encourage students to do outside of university life, it's this.

“We are keenly awaiting the policies from those running in the local elections, we want to know how those policies affect students. Students are on to it and they want to know what they're voting for.”

Melissa says students who have questions about why voting matters or how to go about voting can contact the OUSA student exec or visit the electoral commission website.

Kōrero by Internal Communications Adviser Chelsea McRae

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