Deadline for Maori on electoral roll choice

6:31 am on 18 March 2013

Maori are being urged to decide what type of electoral roll they want to be on before it's too late.

The Electoral Commission launched the 2013 Maori Electoral Option on Friday, saying it wants Maori voters to choose what roll they will be on by 24 July.

The option, offered every five years, gives New Zealanders of Maori descent the opportunity to choose whether they want to be on the Maori or General Roll for the next two elections. It is also used to revise electorate boundaries.

On Monday about 427,000 Maori Electoral Packs will be sent to all voters who declared on their enrolment form that they are descended from or are a New Zealand Maori.

A commission spokesperson, Mabel Wharekawa-Burt, says it's extremely important that Maori enrol to vote and choose which roll they want to be on.

She says it's an excellent way for Maori to empower themselves and if they do not enrol, they do not have a way of choosing their own destiny.

A television ad has been created by Saatchi and Saatchi to encourage Maori to enrol by 24 July.

The $5.3 million campaign will cost around $12 for each enrolled Maori voter.