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June 5, 2018 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira | [ssba]

NT: Te Ara Tauira

The Māori Seats have gotta go. Very unpopular opinion among Māori. Here’s my case real quick. They were introduced as a temporary measure to placate Māori at the time. They were never intended to be a permanent measure, or of any representative nature. They were neglected for decades. Representation in Parliament increased more through the MMP electoral system than through the introduction of the Māori seats. The abolition of the seats has been a campaign point for conservatives like uncle Winny for years. They’re susceptible to manipulation, i.e. uncle Hone and the Internet-Mana deal. The size of the Te Tai Tonga electorate is just ridiculous. The Māori seats relegate “Māori issues” from the primary concerns of the nation.
BUT WORST OF ALL, they are a far, far cry from what our tīpuna thought they were agreeing to. We deserve so much better than what we currently have. And none of that is intended to take away from all that has been achieved by all current and former Māori electorate MPs. But seven seats ain’t tino rangatiratanga. Even worse still, I’m undecided as to whether I should stay on the Māori roll (implicitly consenting to the seats as “enough”) or jump on the General roll (and risk losing formalised representation altogether). This is a discussion I’ve had with a lot of my Māori mates, and the decisions are always different. Some simply don’t give a fuck. Fair call.
Whatever your opinion may be, don’t forget you only have until the 2nd of August to choose whether you are on the Māori roll or the General roll – you can only make this decision every five years! Go to for more info.


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