The 2018 Māori Electoral Option starts next month, giving Māori voters the chance to choose between being on the Māori roll or the general roll.
The Option will run from 3 April to 2 August. Information packs will be sent in early April to voters who identified themselves as Māori when they enrolled. The pack includes a letter confirming which electoral roll they are currently on and giving them the option to change roll types if they wish.
“This is an important choice for Māori voters because it decides whether they will be on the Māori or general roll for the next two general elections – now is your time to choose,” says Mandy Bohté, National Manager of Enrolment and Community Engagement for the Electoral Commission.
Voters on the Māori roll vote for a candidate in a Māori electorate and voters on the general roll vote for a candidate in a general electorate. Whichever roll a voter is on, they choose from the same list of political parties when casting their party vote.
The results of the 2018 Census and the Māori Electoral Option will help determine the number of Māori and general electorates for the next two general elections.
The Option will be launched on Saturday 24 March at the Tai Tokerau Kapa Haka festival in Whangarei and advertising will start on Sunday 25 March featuring the work of sand artist Marcus Winter. Social media personalities William Waiirua, Stacey Morrison, Tawaroa Kawana and Puawai Taiapa will also be lending their voices to the campaign.
“Electoral Commission teams will be at events like the Kapa Haka regionals over the next four months as part of a kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) campaign to spread the word about the Option,” says Ms Bohté. For more information, go to www.maorioption.org.nz.