11 Feb 2013

Maori Party hopes more Maori seats will be created

8:15 pm on 11 February 2013

The Maori Party hopes at least one new Maori electorate will be created as a result of this year's Maori electoral option.

From 25 March, voters of Maori descent will have four months to decide if they want to be on the Maori or general roll for the next two elections.

Their choice, along with this year's census data, will determine the number of Maori and general seats in 2014 and 2017.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says his party is telling Maori voters to take the opportunity to get on the Maori roll. He says if there is a big enough increase, one or two more Maori seats could be created.

Labour's Hauraki Waikato MP, Nanaia Mahuta, says there's a real possibility of a new South Auckland Maori seat.

Of the seven existing Maori seats, three are held by the Maori Party, three by Labour and one by the Mana Party.