Aren't Can't Don't

Stories of women in Aotearoa who can't and don't vote.

125 years after women’s suffrage in New Zealand, this two-part documentary explores why some women are still unable to vote and why it is so difficult for many others to feel like their voices matter. The series looks at voter engagement through the eyes of women from diverse backgrounds with supporting information from experts on voting rights and political participation. CAN’T focuses on the perspectives of women prisoners who still can’t legally vote, while DON’T examines some of the many and complex reasons women don’t vote.

Aren’t Can’t Don’t is a partnership with The Spinoff and is made with the support of NZ on Air.



Aren't Can't Don't: Can't

There are still women in Aotearoa who CAN’T vote. This episode focuses on why, looking particularly at the prison voting ban which has been in effect since 2010.

October 11, 2023



Aren't Can't Don't: Don't

DON’T examines some of the many and complex reasons why, after 125 years of women’s suffrage, so many women don’t vote.

October 11, 2023


Directed by Zoe Macintosh and Vanessa Patea

Produced by Ruth Korver

Written by Rachel Millar and Ruth Korver

Based on a concept by Rachel Millar

Production Manager – Vanessa Patea

Production Coordinator – Rhiain Love

Production Assistant – Erica Davidson

Researcher – Rachel Millar and Anita Ross

Production Accountant – Paul Jackson

Director of Photography – Tammy Williams

Camera Assistants – Angelu Cayanan, Jess Charlton, Julian Herrera, John Ross and Mike Potton

Sound Recordists – Joel Anscombe-Smith, Tony Spears, Grant Finlay and Wendy Adams

Stills Photography – Vanessa Patea

Editor – Trinity Ludlow-Hudson

Sound Mix – Ian Leslie

Graphics – Dylan Herkes

Online – Monarch Post


Maarametua, Awatea, Windy, Savana, Temperance, Richard Francois, Tania Sawicki-Mead, Professor Jack Vowles, Dr Bronwyn Hayward, Dr Maria Bargh, Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath and Emma Ng.

Ngā mihi nui:

Victoria University, Sarah Boyd, Just Speak, Auckland University, Betty Bernard, Canterbury University, Margaret Agnew, Luisa Leo, Screen Wellington, Alex Glasspool, Katie Frost, Pataka Gallery, Reuben Friend, Changing Minds, Red Door Recovery, Toni Taylor, Strathmore Community Hall, Delsyn, Sisi, Conna, Coopa, Harley, William, Ta’Samuela, Marriane Elliott, Tim Worth, Pikihuia Haenga, Manawa Karioi Ecological Restoration Project, Sarah Jane Parton, Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, Jane Paul, Getty Images, Rachel Jean, Shanara Wallace, Pounamu Tipiwai-Chambers, Joanne Heffernan, Ana Tovey, Melissa Donald, Dan Mills and Andrew Croot.


Written by Rhian Sheehan

Licensed courtesy of Loop


Footage from “Dawn Raids” (2005) courtesy of Isola Productions, NZ Herald and Getty Images.


Conference of Samoan chiefs at Vaimoso part of Conference of Samoan chiefs at Vaimoso. Gleeson, Francis Joseph 1908-1993 :Album of photographs of the Mau uprising, Western Samoa, 1930. Ref: PA1-o-795-14-5. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22844864

Voter information sourced from Statistics New Zealand and the Electoral Commission:

Stats NZ (2018). Voting and political participation. Retrieved from

Electoral Commission. Report into the 2017 General Election. Retrieved from

Executive Producers (Storybox) – Robert Appierdo and Jess Feast

Executive Producers (The Spinoff) – Toby Manhire, Duncan Greive and Kerryanne Nelson

A Storybox Production © 2018

Presented by The Spinoff

Made with the support of NZ on Air

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