July 22, 2013
Option fails to deliver results
Māori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is unhappy with the way the Māori electoral option has been conducted.
She says it’s time to find a new way to encourage Māori participation in the voting system.
With only two days to go before the deadline for switching between the general and Māori electoral rolls, it looks unlikely that there has been enough of an increase in the Māori roll to trigger the creation of an eighth Māori seat.
The Māori Party advocates that the option be done as part of the five-yearly census, rather than as a separate exercise afterwards.
"Doing it through the census, we are more likely to get people enrolled, and they should first and foremost enrol on the Māori roll, and the option should be about whether they opt off, not whether they opt on. This is a deliberate attempt I believe by successive governments to ensure that Māori people do not participate in the politics of this country," Mrs Turia says.
She says because thousands of young Māori people don’t engage with the political system, the number of Māori electorates is smaller than it should be and the electorates are so large it is hard for Māori MPs to service them well.
Copyright © 2013, UMA Broadcasting Ltd