Health the most important issue for voters according to 1 NEWS Vote Compass survey

Source: 1News

More than 120,000 voters have already used the 1 NEWS Vote Compass - our online tool that lets you have your say and find out where you stand on election policies.

It's one of the largest surveys of its kind and has produced some unexpected results.

Voters have traditionally put the economy first at election time, but the 1 NEWS Vote Compass has thrown up a surprise with health care topping the list as Kiwis' most important issue.

Click here to use 1 NEWS Vote Compass.

The survey shows 18 per cent of people putting health care at number one. This is especially true for women with 23% believing it's the top priority.

It's also an issue felt strongly in the South Island, where almost a quarter of people who answered the survey put health care first.

Health is a big ticket item for the Government, spending more than 16 billion dollars each year, with another billion dollars a year added in the latest budget.

Jennifer Lees-Marshment from Auckland University believes the Vote Compass results means the parties vying for votes this election need to take heed of the issue.

"This is a major challenge for the parties to respond to this sudden realisation that health is a big issue," she said.

1 NEWS Vote Compass is live online right through the election campaign.