1 Oct 2019

Hopes iwi data tool will encourage greater voter turnout

4:47 pm on 1 October 2019

The creator of a new online iwi data tool believes it will allow iwi to register more of its people, and see a greater voter turnout at elections.

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The tool, called 'Your Iwi', allows people to plug in and find multiple iwi through an online portal. Their respective iwi or hapū are then notified, and can verify the person has the correct whakapapa.

After the verification process is complete, people can access information about their iwi or hapū and vice-versa through the portal, and engage directly with iwi administrators.

Iwi and hapū need to be registered with the data service before people can connect with them.

Creator Scott Campbell said many iwi groups currently had as little as 10 percent of their population registered with them.

He said this was making it difficult for iwi to establish a strong mandate to negotiate their treaty settlement.

"The key thing about any mandating process is having enough members to get support for the mandate and for the ratification of different settlements.

"How Your Iwi will help is that it easily builds that data base. It replaces the need for us to have excel spreadsheets, it makes it really easy, and it's accountable and transparent because it's all held in one place."

Matata-based iwi Ngāti Rangitihi is the only iwi to sign up to the tool so far.

Mr Campbell said in just three months the iwi had grown the number of its registered members.

"Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi have already had hundreds of people enroll with them since starting. They are about to go through a settlement process which needs the input from their people.

"We've also held hui in Napier, Hastings, Taupō, Rotorua and we're now in discussions with over 10 different iwi groups who are keen to come on board."

It was also going to solve the problem of people not knowing where or how to register with their iwi or hapū.

"The problems that we has a Māori is that we can whakapapa to a number of different iwi groups and that means often we don't hear from them because the process up until now has been so hard."