28 Oct 2020

Māori roll enrolments double since 2017

2:47 pm on 28 October 2020

A political commentator says a doubling of Māori voter enrolments since 2017 reflects a resurgent Māori Party.

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

Māori voter enrolment rose significantly this year, with an extra 59,000 compared to the last election.

Dr Rawiri Taonui told Midday Report he expects overall turnout figures will reflect that, and said the quality of candidates could be one reason for it.

He said there was increased numbers on the Māori roll during the ascendancy of the Māori Party in 2005 and 2006. Following that, conflict between the Mana movement and Māori Party led many to vote on the general roll instead.

"Although there are 30,000 new Māori who've enrolled on the general roll - and that's more than the 25,000 who've voted on the Māori roll - the trend has narrowed."

He said there was big support on the general roll for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Labour's management of Covid-19.

"What we see on the Māori roll - because those numbers have more than doubled since the new enrolments of 2017 - is we're seeing support emerge for a resurgent Māori Party."

Dr Taonui predicted that the Māori voter turnout, across both rolls, would be higher than 2017.

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