4 May 2013

Change mooted to five-year electoral roll rule

8:15 pm on 4 May 2013

The Green Party is supporting an Electoral Commission recommendation that Parliament consider changing how often Maori can choose between electoral rolls.

Currently, Maori can change between the general roll and the Maori roll only every five years, following the national census.

The Electoral Commission has advised Parliament's Justice Select Committee to look at whether the option should be available every three years.

The commission made the suggestion in a submission for the committee's inquiry into the 2011 general election, pointing out that Maori voters regularly express concern they can't change rolls at election time.

Green co-leader Metiria Turei says Maori should be able to move on to the roll they believe is most appropriate before a general election so they vote for the candidate of their choice.

Ms Turei says allowing Maori to change rolls only every five years disenfranchises them.