Māori voters should have received an information pack in the mail by now about the 2018 Māori Electoral Option.
Packs have been sent to 477,141 enrolled voters who have identified themselves as being of Māori descent, giving them the option of being on the Māori roll or the general roll for the next two general elections. 252,051 of those voters were on the Māori roll, and 225,090 were on the general roll. 7,686 of the packs went to overseas addresses - 6,151 of them in Australia.
“Voters who are happy with the roll they are on do not need to do anything, but if they would like to change rolls, they can do it now by signing and returning the letter in the pack,” says Mandy Bohté, Electoral Commission National Manager of Enrolment and Community Engagement.
Māori voters might not have received an information pack if they have changed address, didn’t identify themselves as Māori when they enrolled, or are not enrolled.
“If you’re Māori and you didn’t receive a pack, you can still take part in the Option by filling in a new enrolment form,” says Ms Bohté. “Do it now so that you can make your choice about which roll you want to be on – the Māori roll or the general roll.”
At a general election, voters on the Māori roll will vote for a candidate in a Māori electorate and voters on the general roll will vote for a candidate in a general electorate. Whichever roll a voter is on, they will choose from the same list of political parties when casting their party vote.
Visit www.maorioption.org.nz or call 0800 36 76 56 for more information. Enrolment forms can be downloaded from the website, and completed forms can be returned by uploading them to the website.
The Māori Electoral Option closes on 2 August.