September 20, 2023
Commission defends voting support for Māori
The Electoral Commission’s chief Māori advisor, Hone Matthews, is rejecting criticism from politicians that it has not done enough to make voting accessible for Māori.
Maori Party candidate Meka Whaitiri says polling booth staff often seem unable to manage Maori names, and she’s taken to running role modelling sessions for rangatahi to help them understand the voting process.
Mr Matthews says at the last election the commission ran a pilot booth at Rakaumangamanga in Huntly offering te reo Maori help, and this time there will be 15 such polling stations, as well numerous booths on marae and kura.
“The people (working) at those places will all be from the local community so people we hope will feel comfortable when they go to vote. You can find your closest voting place on vote.nz. There’s a map where you p\un in your address and see your local voting place and when they’re open,” he says.
A kaupapa Maori voting booths will be open at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Innes from the start of early voting on October 2, and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori a Rohe o Māngere in Comet Crescent on election day October 14.