"If you don't vote, you don't have much to complain about."

Those were Te Tatau o Te Arawa chairman Te Taru White's words of wisdom ahead of the upcoming local body elections.

Local Government New Zealand's 2016 post-election survey statistics show on average only 50 to 60 per cent of eligible Māori voted in the local body elections, less than the 65 to 70 per cent of New Zealand Europeans who did.

Te Taru White said registering to vote was the first step to getting more Māori voting.

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"A lot don't," he said.

Te Taru White. Photo / File
Te Taru White. Photo / File

"Even though we are in our own

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