May 30, 2016
New approach needed to get Maori voting
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell hopes a $5 million infusion in the budget will lift Maori participation in the next election.
At the last election the Maori participation rate was several percentage points below that of non-Maori in every electorate, and only rose above 75 percent in those aged 55 and over.
Mr Flavell says the Electoral Commission has identified it as a problem, but its campaigns miss the mark.
"We think we can do it better. We need a little more thought so we don't just duplicate what was out there. It's part of an agreement we have with the National Party to look at why our people are not enrolling. Having got that information what are we going to do to educate people about the political process, firstly get them enrolled, secondly get them to the polling booth so they can vote and participate in the process," he says.
Mr Flavell says once Maori understand the need to be involved in the political process they should be more willing to vote.
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