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Party spreads word - Get on the Roll and Vote!

Maori Party going all out to spread word - Get on the Roll and Vote!
Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader 30 October 2008

As EasyVote packs are delivered, the Maori Party is concerned about questions raised over the state of electoral rolls, and the procedures used to maintain them.

"In light of the questions that we have received, we have been encouraging everyone we can, to go to PostShop and check their names are on the roll NOW rather than wait till it's too late on November 8,” says Co-leader Tariana Turia.

"One of our candidates, Angeline Greensill, has even gone on YouTube, to reach out to young Maori especially, including those in Australia and overseas, to encourage everyone to ‘Get on the Roll and Vote’.” (Check it out!)

“I think the whole procedure for purging the rolls needs to be looked at in depth. I mean, we organise huge campaigns to enrol people, and we are barely replacing those who have been struck off,” she said.

Mrs Turia says she knows of several people who re-enrolled after being purged, whose names are still not on the rolls.

“My husband is one of them. We were both purged from the rolls, even though we had not shifted house. We both re-enrolled, and I’m back on the roll but he’s not,” said Mrs Turia.

“I know he re-enrolled, because we both posted our forms at the same time. I wonder how many others are in the same boat, because Maori Party door-knockers are constantly meeting people who are certain they are on the roll, but they are not.

“The main reason given for purging names is that enrolment packs are returned undelivered. But why are people struck off just because they have changed address? The purges tend to discriminate against tangata whenua, because a higher proportion of the Maori population is younger, and may be shifting flats more often, and we have a higher proportion of renters as well, who move regularly,” she said.

The Maori Party has been calling for a comprehensive review on matters of electoral participation.

“Our policy is that we want to review Maori Electoral Option, particularly restraints around timing. Because the Maori Option uses census data, it is only open for a short period every five years. Maori have been saying to us, why can't they just go and switch rolls - instead of having to wait for a slim window of time every five years?'

“I’d also like some sort of inquiry into enrolments,” said Mrs Turia.

(See attached: Maori Party policy on electoral participation)
Maori Electoral Participation

Representation in a democracy is not only a basic human right, it also enables our nation to move forward together. The Maori seats will stay until such time Maori freely choose, via a mana-whenua referendum or constitutional review, to get rid of them.

• We will introduce a Private Members Bill to entrench section 45 of the Electoral Act

• We will initiate a Maori Electoral Participation project, including:

· All people to be automatically entered on to the General Roll at 18 years of age; or the Maori roll if Maori (with an option to transfer to the General Roll);

· Ensure electoral rolls also have constituents identified on the basis of their iwi and hapu. This will assist tribal development planning and maintenance of identity.

· Extend the provision in the Census to identify tribally to the electoral roll, where tribal affiliation is also stated.

· Review Maori Electoral Option, particularly restraints around timing.

Maori Electoral Districts

• Amend section 45 of the Electoral Act to be consistent with section 35 of that Act, meaning that no Maori electoral district shall be situated partially in the North Island and partially in the South Island.


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