More Maori opting to change to general roll

Radio NZ reports:

The Māori electoral option opened on 3 April, giving Māori a chance to choose which roll they wanted to be on for the next two national elections.

Their choice would determine whether they voted for a local MP in a Māori seat or a general seat.

Results from the first of three updates by the Electoral Commission showed 215 new enrolments of Māori descent in the general roll and 431 in the Māori roll.

Of those on the Māori roll, 7093 switched to the general roll and of those on the general roll, 4610 switched to the Māori roll.

This is unusual. Normally more Maori go from the general roll to the Maori roll. This might be happening as a result of Labour having won all seven Maori seats, and hence they are now seen as noncompetitive.

It is possible that the number of Maori seats could shrink from seven to six, if large numbers continue to switch to the general roll.

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