22 Nov 2013

Flavell says Maori electoral boundaries too big

6:45 pm on 22 November 2013

The Maori Party says Maori electoral boundaries are so big that many of its voters would rather be on the general roll so they can at least see their MP.

Te Ururoa Flavell.

Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo: MAORI PARTY

The Representation Commission has suggested no change to the seven Maori electorates, which each include about 60,000 Maori voters.

The move follows the Maori Roll option in May, which failed to earn an eighth seat.

Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says it seems crazy that the Tai Tonga electorate, from Wellington to Stewart Island, spans 18 general electorates.

He says it does not address what he calls a major injustice in Maori representation.

Mr Flavell says it is that face-to-face reaction that draws Maori to participate in democracy - but that interaction is almost impossible when the electorates are so huge.

Forty-six percent of enrolled Maori voters are choosing to stay on the general roll because they have more chance to see their MPs, he says.