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It’s Your Choice: Maori Roll Or General Roll

The Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia and the Associate Minister of Justice Margaret Wilson have launched the 5-yearly Maori option.

The slogan for the campaign is: "It’s your choice - kei a koe te tikanga, Maori Roll or General Roll". The Ministers said the option was an important part of the democratic process.

"Because Maori are able to change rolls only once every five years we need a campaign to remind people of their rights. The campaign is neutral and promotes the right of Maori voters to choose between the two rolls. The message of the campaign is simple – to exercise the choice as to which roll you vote on, you must first be enrolled".

Details of the enrollment process:

Between 2 April and 1 August 2001, Maori voters will once again have the opportunity to choose whether they wish to be on the Maori electoral roll or the General electoral roll.

The aim of the campaign is to foster Maori participation in the electoral system, promote understanding of the need to be enrolled as an elector and promote the opportunity to choose between the Maori and the General rolls. Maori will be encouraged to make their choice, ensure they and other members of their whanau are enrolled, and to check that their personal enrollment details are up to date.

The Electoral Act 1993 requires that the Maori Electoral Option happens every five years. Apart from when a voter initially enrols, it is the only time that voters who are Maori or are of Maori descen thave the opportunity to choose between the two types of electoral roll.

The Option is also significant because the number of voters on the Maori roll after the Option period will determine whether the number of Maori seats - currently six - will change.

The Chief Registrar of Electors at the Electoral Enrolment Centre (EEC) sends a Maori Electoral Option form to all identified Maori voters in the first week of April 2001, along with an information brochure.

Voters then have four months, until 1 August 2001 to decide whether they wish to change roll type or stay on the same roll.

Those who want to change rolls must select the roll type they wish to be on and send the form back to the EEC before 1August. Those who do not want to change do not need to do anything. All those who haven’t returned the Option form at the end of the four months are deemed to have opted to remain on the roll they are currently on.


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