Eligible voters living in Australia could hold balance of power for NZ elections

By Ripeka Timutimu

According to the Australian 2011 Census, over 130,000 Māori lived in Australia.  

Many of them are eligible to vote in the upcoming NZ elections and could hold the balance of power if they do choose to cast a vote.

In the indigenous land of 'dreamtime', for many Māori, it has become a land of broken dreams.

The minister of a Māori church in Redfern, Kaio Karipa, says their walls have become a haven for the most vulnerable Māori living in the area.

On the front-line of Sydney's streets Māori warden Rawiri Iti, knows just how bad some of our people are doing.  He's hoping for change.

In 2011, there were only 511 voters from the Māori roll that voted in Australia.  Rawiri Iti and Kaio Karipa are still active voters.

Like many Māori throughout Australia, there's not much time left to consider whom to give their support to on the 20th of this month.

Overseas voting opens Wednesday 3 September.  For more info, visit the Electons Electoral Commission website.