21 Dec 2011

Maori in Oz feel shunned by NZ political parties

6:35 am on 21 December 2011

An organisation representing Maori living in Australia says they feel New Zealand political parties ignored them in November's election.

Maori.oz.com says it was aware of the Maori and Mana parties doing some campaigning in Sydney and Queensland, but nothing more.

Christel Broederlow of Ngati Maniapoto and Ngati Paoa says all New Zealanders in Australia follow politics back home and want to cast their votes.

She says the parties are missing out on a huge voter base, with about 100,000 Maori now resident in Australia.

Ms Broederlow, who left in 1997 for a better lifestyle in Queensland, says too many political parties are ignoring New Zealanders living in Australia thinking that they don't care.

But the Gold Coaster says expats have all left whanau behind, which is why remaining involved in New Zealand politics is important to them.

According to the Electoral Enrolment Centre, New Zealanders in Australia can vote for a party and an electorate back home but New Zealand citizens must not have been outside New Zealand for longer than 3 years.