First time voters McKenzie Jeffery, Dakota Taylor-Erutoe and Maima Tekani called in to the Mount polling booth this week to make early votes in the 2017 General Election.
"My dad stressed that it's very important," says McKenzie. "He said it doesn't matter who you vote for as long as you vote."
Although they live at Maungatapu, Oropi and Papamoa, the friends cast their votes at Mount Maunganui Senior Citizens Club.
"We were just at Bayfair and we didn't know any other place to vote," says Dakota. "We saw the voting sign here yesterday. I thought it would be a great opportunity."
McKenzie says she has been reading about the elections and candidates on Facebook and television, and seeing the road side hoardings.
"I've been away and haven't been here to hear who is the best and what they have to offer," says Dakota.
"There's a first time for everything," says Maima.