Options open up for Maori voters

Maori now have the opportunity to change to the general electoral roll. Photo / NZ Herald
Maori now have the opportunity to change to the general electoral roll. Photo / NZ Herald

Maori will this year have the opportunity to decide whether they want to be on the Maori or general electoral roll, with officials spreading the word about the options in the next few weeks.

Electoral Commission staff would be working to ensure that Maori had all the information they needed to make their choice before March 25, when the option to be on the Maori roll started.

"If you are Maori and on the electoral roll, then this year you get to choose which type of electoral roll you want to vote on," Enrolment Services national manager Murray Wicks said.

"There hasn't been a Maori Electoral Option since 2006, so we want to make sure that Maori have access to all the information about the option and what it means before making their decision when the option period begins.

"It's an important choice, and we want people to be confident to take part."

People who indicated they were of Maori descent when they enrolled will be sent a personalised pack in the mail in late March. It would include the form needed to make their roll type choice, Mr Wicks said.

Teams, which included representatives from Maori organisations already active in local communities, would begin their work this month.

The next general election is in 2014.

- APNZ

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