14 Oct 2023

Election 2023: Māori electoral commission needed for 'shambolic' voting system - Te Pati Māori

9:30 pm on 14 October 2023
Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

Photo: RNZ / Tim Collins

Te Pati Māori will establish a Māori electoral commission if re-elected, after what it calls the shambolic handling of the election.

Today, booths across the nation ran out of ballots, some closed early, and the online system collapsed.

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi said they want to take matters into their own hands to keep whānau informed.

He said the plan was to establish a Māori electoral commission immediately.

Waititi said the Electoral Commission should hang their heads in shame for what he describes as a disservice to the country.

South Auckland community leader David Letele told RNZ he has heard from people who walked away from polling booths due to the wait times to cast a vote.

He said he supports calls to establish a Māori electoral commission.

IT difficulties impact voting

During voting earlier today, there was IT difficulties with the electronic version of the electoral roll.

An Electoral Commission spokesperson said the app was used to look up people who did not have their EasyVote card or did not know which electorate they were in.

They said the issue has had no impact on most people's voting experience but caused some delays for people casting a special vote at some busier polling booths.

However, a voter in Wellington Central said today's voting was the worst voting experiences she has ever had.

"Probably the worst experience ever expected almost all the years I've voted," she said.

"It's got to be the most unorganized and shambolic experience I've ever had.

The voter who voted at Kelburn Primary School was in the booth's electorate, but did not have an EasyVote card.

She said she could not believe they were not able to just check people off on the paper roll like in years gone by.

She said some people left before voting because of the delays.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs