November 11, 2022
Waititi peeved electoral bill trumped
Parliament has voted down a member’s bill from Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi which would have allowed Maori to switch between the Maori and general electoral rolls at any time.
The Government has its own bill going through the house which will allow roll switching at all times except in electorates where there is a parliamentary by-election or within three months of a general election.
About 6000 Maori ask to change rolls in non-election years, and over 22,000 people tried to change rolls in 2020, but they can only switch during the four month Maori option held after every five-year census.
Mr Waititi says it leaves in place a racist electoral system.
“I call the Labour bill a Christmas tree without the balls. The Maori Party bill was tightening up across all fronts so it was a total transformation of the current electoral system that locks out people out,” he says.
Mr Waititi says his bill would have automatically placed people on the Maori roil if they identified as Māori when enrolling but doesn’t choose an electoral roll.