Just days after the election Meka Whaitiri has raised concerns about Maori experiences at voting booths in Hawke's Bay.

The incumbent Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP intends to contribute her own feedback to the Electoral Commission after those in her electorate relayed their experiences to her.

"There's not enough analysis of the Maori electorate; if the electoral system MMP is conducive for all New Zealanders to be voting. I have a sense that there's a large body of voters in this country that the system is not enabling."

Ms Whaitiri said she had heard testimonies of those enrolled on the Maori roll being told they were not registered to vote when staff were searching the general roll, being asked to cast special votes and registering only to find they were not enrolled at all.


"You have very low Maori voter turnout and it's not because people are disinterested; the process is not clearly understood."

The Labour MP also took issue with voting booth allocation, explaining two booths were allocated to Wainui in Gisborne, populated by several hundred mainly European people, while just one was posted in Kaiti with a population of several thousand predominantly Maori people.

"I don't think we had enough polling booths in high-Maori electorate areas, such as Wairoa and parts of Gisborne, and I think we should have a speaker of te reo so when people give their name it isn't to people who can't pronounce te reo."

Ms Whaitiri said her brother voted this year and, after giving his name, found the voting booth staff were looking under 'F' not 'Wh', and in the general roll when he was registered on the Maori roll.

It was expected there would be backlash after similar concerns were publicly aired by Massey University Maori politics lecturer Veronica Tawhai, she said.

Earlier this month Ms Tawhai claimed some Maori were given false information by staff at early polling booths; confusing voters and deterring them from exercising their democratic rights.

She said she had received numerous complaints from throughout the country and gone on to complain to the Electoral Commission herself.

"Maori, and particularly young Maori, are constantly criticised for being uninformed, uninterested or apathetic when it comes to participating in political activities such as voting," Ms Tawhai said.


"Yet when our people attempt to be proactive in exercising our democratic rights, some are prevented from doing so due to ignorance amongst officials who are meant to be assisting in the process."

Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright said it was important that all voters were able to have their say and that the commission took the matter seriously.

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"We want everyone to have a good experience when they go to vote, and if that doesn't happen, we want to hear about it."

Ms Whaitiri said she wanted every New Zealander, regardless of their electorate or community, to be able to participate fully in general elections.

"I want that for everybody but in my experience, being an MP in a large Maori electorate, my gut is that a lot of voters I represent aren't participating as fully as they could.

"Of course it's not blaming the system, it's a two-way thing, but unless we do a proper analysis of why they aren't participating then we are not going to change the system."

Feedback about voting experiences, including as much detail as possible, could be emailed to enquiries@elections.govt.nz.