Cynicism and the Maori roll

Published on Author Dan MoskovitzLeave a comment

The Electoral Commission is suggesting that Māori should be able to freely move about between the Māori and general rolls. 

Currently, Māori can only choose whether to go on the general or Māori roll once every five years.

The Electoral Commission is suggesting to give Māori the choice of moving between the roles at pretty much any time.

Justice minster Andrew Little will get to choose whether or not to introduce a bill like this to house, and as it will be a government bill, if it is introduced, then it will almost certainly pass.

I feel like which way Little will lean on the issue depends on how cynical he is about the issue.

On one hand, you could argue that five years is far too long, and people’s minds change all the time, so it makes sense to go with the Electoral Commission’s proposal.

One the other hand, if you want to head to the cynical side, you could argue that the system would become ripe for abuse – for example, Māori voters in Northcote might switch to the general roll for the by-election, but then switch back to the Māori roll for the general election.

Sticky situation.

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