16 Oct 2020

Strong showing for early votes in Māori electorates

5:55 pm on 16 October 2020

Māori have been "turning out in droves" to cast their vote early, with advance voting numbers almost double that on last election.

Polling booths are open for New Zealand's general election in Auckland on September 23, 2017. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP)

File photo. Photo: AFP or licensors

Figures released by the Electoral Commission show 77,600 Māori (as of 14 October) cast their ballot, a 98 percent increase on the same early voting period for the 2017 election.

Māori enrolment on both rolls has also surpassed the final numbers from last election, up by 6.8 percent from 476,798 to 509,403.

And figures released to the New Zealand Māori Council have found Māori enrolment numbers since May (8.1 percent) this year are higher than non-Māori (5.7 percent).

The Commission said that it was seeing "large increases in turnout in East Coast, Rotorua and Northland - electorates with large proportions of Māori electors."

New Zealand Māori Council chief executive Matthew Tukaki said it was clear Māori were "turning out in droves to vote".

He said he would be calling for a new Māori electorate after this election to account for the growth in Māori voters, and would be meeting with the Commission in the coming weeks to discuss this.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs