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Early voter turnout in Māori seats up incredible 99%, new figures show

Voter turnout in the Māori seats is up a significant 99 per cent, figures released to 1 NEWS show.

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Commentators wonder if it’ll be another Labour landslide in the seven seats of if the Māori Party is set to make a stunning return. Source: 1 NEWS

Now commentators are wondering if it will be another Labour landslide in the seven Māori seats or if the Māori Party is making a stunning return back from the political wilderness.

Māori electorates have much lower voter turnouts than the general seats, but there’s now evidence of a stunning turnaround.

After 12 days of advance voting, more than 77,000 Māori electorate ballot papers have been issued compared with 39,000 at the same time in 2017.

Some believe it’s because there’s real competition.

“In the past we’ve seen some Māori moving to the general roll because they’re simply aren’t enough candidates and not enough choice,” says political scientist Maria Bargh.

“But now with the hot contests it makes it much more exciting to be on the Māori roll."

One of those hotly contested seats is Tāmaki Makaurau in Auckland.

A recent poll putting John Tamihere a close second to incumbent Peeni Henare.

Other interesting seats are Te Tai Hauāuruwhere, where the Māori Party had its closest losing margin last time, and Waiariki in the Central North Island.

Although it may be up against it, the Māori Party has been strategically targeting the candidate vote.

Whoever wins the Māori seats on the night, Māori voters are showing they are motivated to cast their vote.

VOTE COMPASS - With the election campaign coming to an end, take this opportunity to participate in Vote Compass, a survey tool which lets you see how your views match up with party policies - go to tvnz.co.nz/VoteCompass