I would urge Māori to stay/ or enrol on the Māori roll, for no other reason than the struggle for Māori equality is not over yet e hoa mā.
The size of the 7 current Māori electorates are huge. Māori MPs could schedule 3 hui a day over 5 days to travel around their rohe. Hone Harawira says “general seat candidates can spit from one side of their electorate to the other “.
The 3 extra electorates would not necessarily reduce the workload but could scale down the huge boundaries. Tai Tokerau would reduce in size from Rerenga Wairua to the north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge – thus integrating Waitakere into the urban Tamaki region. Two new separate rohe would be South Auckland and Te Wai Pounamu (excluding Wellington) . Tai Rawhiti would end north of Rimutaka.
How would you pay for it? Reduce the number of general list seats. Yes it is great there are 29 MPs who claim Māori descent – but there are only four general seat /list MPs who currently stand up for Māori issues. The others may have adopted a lie low stance. What will be interesting is how our Māori MPs vote. Will they vote for rangatiratanga? By the way, I miss the oratory of the Māori Party and MANA Movement. All the reviews and considered debate is unnerving.
The Royal Commission Report on the Electoral Commission (3.28) , states Māori interest should be represented in Parliament by MPs who are also members of the Māori community, accountable to Māori electors and serve their constituents in ways that correspond to Māori customs, traditions and expectations. Māori MPs need fluency in Te Reo, a record of service to the Māori community and standing in their own tribes. It’s a tall order.
My orange letter has arrived in the mail- have you noticed that you cannot opt to leave the general roll for the Māori roll? Perhaps the letter was worded differently for Māori roll voters?
Publicity is ramped up to the Māori voter , no pressure- “now is the time to choose”. Where is the kōrero about if Māori got x more votes, they will create another seat or 3-10 new electorates?
If a Māori voter is unsure about whether they opt for the Māori or general roll, perhaps they could do a survey about their local general seat candidate or party :
i) does he/ she serve or care about Māori people and their needs- ?
ii) does he/she care about the development of Te Reo Māori, Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori, Kura a Iwi, marae , hapu needs, Hauora Māori, Māori trades training, Māori broadcasting etc?
iii) is he/she proactive about reducing the Māori prison population rtes, improving Māori health care, decreasing early death of Māori, building houses for Maori on low incomes?;
iv) is he/she helpful in supporting sustainable job growth for the local region that will employ locals and Māori?;
v) does he /she deal have time in their general constituency work to deal with any Māori issues.
If your general MP has scored less than one- stay with the Māori roll.