General roll or Māori roll - which one to choose?

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

The 2018 Māori Electoral Option has been launched, giving Māori the opportunity to enroll on the Māori or the general roll. 

The Electoral Commission says the option only happens once every five years- just after the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings.

If every Māori was enrolled on the Māori roll and voted, Māori would have 14 seats in parliament.

According to the last census, there were around 600,000 people who identified themselves as Māori. 

There are currently 250,000  Māori who are enrolled to vote on the Māori roll, an increase of almost 23,000 since 2013.

If that number was to increase to 320,000 the Māori seats will go from seven to eight. 

47% of Māori enrolled are on the general roll and 53% are on the Māori roll. 

Senior project leader from the Electoral Commision, Mona-Pauline Mangakahia says people should take their values and those of their families into consideration to ensure they make the right decision. 

The Electoral Option opens on the 3rd of April and closes on the 2nd of August