In New Zealand our government is a representative democracy. A representative democracy is when all the eligible people in New Zealand elect representatives to Parliament to speak for us on government issues.
This means that the adults of New Zealand get to vote on the different parties’ and people in parliament. These people in parliament decide who the prime minister is.
But to have a representative democracy, New Zealand must have elections. To elect someone means to choose them for a specific position by vote. In New Zealand, we use MMP (meaning mixed-member proportional) as our voting system. MMP is what we use to choose people and parties who will represent us in parliament.
Under MMP, adults get two votes, we will focus on the first vote- the party vote. The party vote determines how many seats (members of parliament) each party with take up in parliament. Say a party gets 27% of the party votes in New Zealand, they take up around 27% of seats in parliament.
A party must have at least 5% of New Zealand’s party votes to get seats in parliament unless somebody from their party wins an electorate seat- (which is determined by the second vote under the MMP system).