Beware Winston’s fine print on the Maori seats referendum

The Herald reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters has dismissed suggestions of a revolt in his ranks over the Maori seats, but said he will reveal soon whether his proposed referendum on the future of the seats would be for all voters or for Maori.

Peters announced plans to hold a binding referendum on the future of the seats at his party’s annual conference – a shift from the 2014 position which favoured abolishing the seats but leaving it to Maori themselves to decide when.

That was assumed to be a referendum of all voters – but Peters is now hinting that may not be the case.

Asked about recent comments by both candidate Shane Jones and NZ First MP Pita Paraone about leaving the fate of the seats to Maori voters, Peters said he believed it should be up to Maori.

 However, as well as Maori on the Maori roll, there were also Maori on the general roll and those who were not enrolled at all to consider.


So Winston conned everyone into thinking it would be a referendum in which all adult New Zealanders could vote on, but actually there may be fine print that it would be a referendum of Maori New Zealanders only.

Peters said Maori voters were leaving the Maori seats in their droves and the majority of Maori were on the general roll rather than Maori roll.

However, Electoral Commission statistics show 55 per cent are on the Maori roll and 45 per cent on the general roll.

They also show that in each Maori electoral option far more Maori have switched from the general to the Maori roll than vice versa – and new enrolments also favour the Maori roll by a significant margin.

How shocking – Winston as usual made up a fact and got it wrong.


Comments (54)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment