12 Jun 2013

Sharples critical of Maori Electoral option campaign

9:39 pm on 12 June 2013

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is criticising the Maori Electoral option campaign, saying it isn't doing enough to attract new voters.

Pita Sharples.

Pita Sharples. Photo: MAORI PARTY

The Electoral Commission's campaign provides information for current voters to decide whether to be on the Maori roll or general roll.

Dr Sharples says the campaign only aims to tell tangata whenua about switching rolls.

At Parliament on Thursday he told reporters in te reo Maori that the commission is not working to bring in new voters and suggests its staff are not going to the marae and talking to people face to face.

But the Electoral Commission says its people charged with providing campaign information visit their communities which includes some marae.

Data published by the commission shows just over 5000 new voters have signed up to the Maori electoral roll to date.