'Rangatahi want option to vote online and at every marae'

By Kelvin McDonald
Tutata Matatahi-Poutapu. Photo / Facebook

Voting online and at every marae should be an option for local body elections, especially if voting is to be accessible for Māori and rangatahi, a candidate for one of the two new Waikato District Council Māori wards says.

Tutata Paaniora Matatahi-Poutapu - who, along with fellow candidate Kawekura Nikora, has put her name forward for the one available seat for the Tai Raro Takiwaa Māori ward - is one of the younger candidates standing in the elections.

"Voting needs to be accessible for everyone, including rangatahi and Māori. Rangatahi I have met with are saying that we should be able to vote online, we should be able to vote at every Marae - it's important and it's for everyone," Matatahi-Poutapu said in a statement Sunday. 

"It's like some decision-makers are still playing solitaire on a computer and think this is innovation, but young people are on Fortnite now. I am encouraging young people to vote, but there really need to be more options to ensure their voice is heard." 

Matatahi-Poutapu has taken an online approach herself this election, with Facebook promotions, Snapchat filters, in addition to meeting whānau in person to listen to their concerns, street by street, across the campaign, she says.

"It's important that we serve the people - one way of doing this, is going to the people, where they already are, whether that's in-person or online."