Aera funds and encourages independent, non-partisan activities that promote civic engagement, digital democracy and greater participation in the politicial process.

The Aera Auckland 2016 Poll
During the Auckland 2016 Mayoral race no organisation or media outlet conducted a comprehensive poll on the 18 candidates running. Polls that gauge candidate traction encourage people to talk about the election and exercise their right to vote. Aera commissioned the only comprehensive, independent poll on behalf of all Aucklanders. The results can be found here and analysed further by The Spinoff.

The Virgin Voter Collective
Aera helped shape a collective of changemakers who advocated to reverse the decline of young voters participating in the 2014 New Zealand central government election. With almost 50% of New Zealanders under thirty voting in 2014 compared to 40% in 2011, one in five young people were aware of the VVC, a third of whom (70,000) cited its influence on their decision to vote. The VVC goal was to stop the decline and increase young voters by 18,000, concluding that the effort helped achieve a significant reversal of eighteen years of declining youth engagement.

Candidate App
Like a popular swiping dating app, Candidate was designed to give users a first impression of each party’s policy across a number of issues that matter to young people, and get them interested enough to find out more prior to the election. Aera granted $20,000 seed funding and expertise to help a young student entrepreneur Hannah Duder develop the app which matched voters with policies in a simple and fun way. The app was developed in less than 50 days and half of the users cited the tool as positively influencing their decision to vote.