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Māori Party welcomes Electoral Commission recommendations


5 November 2012

Māori Party welcomes Electoral Commission recommendations on MMP

Māori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples says the Electoral Commission recommendations on MMP generally align with the Māori Party’s stance.

“We support the changes to the electorate seat and party vote thresholds which will make it easier for smaller parties to enter Parliament,” said Dr Sharples. “And while we would not be able to bring in extra MPs from our list on our current polling, we do intend to reach the 4% party vote threshold before long.

“We also support the abolition of overhang seats because it clears up confusion. While the Māori Party has been blamed for creating an overhang, it is other parties who have benefited from the extra seat.”

“We like MMP because it enhances diversity in Parliament. To maintain the integrity of the diverse voices, it is important for parties to select and rank candidates on their party lists, and for list candidates to be able to contest electorate seats.

“Fixing the ratio of electorate to list seats at 60:40 will maintain a reasonable level of proportionality as the population grows, and we think this should be considered.

“However we are disappointed that our other submissions to improve Māori representation were not taken up, including automatic enrolment of Māori on the Māori roll, with a right to opt out; the recording of iwi affiliations on electoral rolls; and not having Māori electorates straddling the North and South Islands,” said Dr Sharples.

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