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The Maori Electoral Options have your say

Whanau make sure you have your say when it comes to the Maori electoral option. The Māori Electoral Option is a four-month period during which Māori voters can elect to exercise their option to move between General or Māori electoral rolls. This takes place every five to six years.

Apart from when they first enrol to vote, this four-month period is the only time when Māori voters can change electoral rolls. The last Māori Electoral Option was in 2018 and the next one is due to happen in 2024.

What’s happening?

The Government is considering whether the timing and frequency of the Māori Electoral Option should be changed.

If you have any feedback you would like to share with us, you can email us at and we will collate all of the responses and direct them to the Ministry of Justice on the 6th of August.

We welcome your thoughts on the Māori Electoral Option before Friday, 6 August 2021.

Some important information for you:

Māori roll or general roll?

If you are Māori, you can choose between the Māori roll and the general roll when you first enrol to vote. Once you're enrolled, you can only change rolls during the Māori Electoral Option, which is usually held every 5 years.

What does your choice mean for you?

In a general election, you vote for a candidate to represent the area you live in (your electorate), and the party you want to be in government.

If you're on the Māori roll, you vote for a candidate in the Māori electorate you live in.

If you're on the general roll, you vote for a candidate in the general electorate you live in.

You can choose from the same list of political parties whichever roll you are on.

The option helps set the number of Māori electorates

The Māori Electoral Option is held after each 5-yearly population census and runs for 4 months. The number of Māori and general electorates is set using results from the option and the census.

The number of Māori enrolled on the Māori roll at the end of the option period could mean that the number of Māori electorates increases, decreases, or stays the same. The more people on the Māori roll, the more Māori electorates there could be.

The number of Māori enrolled on the Māori roll also helps to determine the boundaries of Māori and general electorates when the boundaries are reviewed.

How to take part in the option

If you said you were of Māori descent when you enrolled to vote, you'll be sent a pack in the mail at the beginning of the option period. You then have the opportunity to change rolls if you wish to.


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