The nationwide advertising campaign for the 2018 Māori electoral option will officially launch today at Te Tai Tokerau Kapa Haka Festival in Whangārei.

The exercise is run every five years and gives Māori voters the chance to choose between the Māori roll and the general roll.

Senior Project Leader Mona-Pauline Mangakāhia says its special option for Māori voters.

“Ko te kōwhiringa Māori he wā mō tātou te iwi Māori inā kua 18 piki ake ō tau kia whiriwhiri koe mēnā e noho ana koe ki te rārangi Māori ki te rārangi whānui rānei.”

Mangakāhia also says the results of the 2018 Census as well as voters choosing to be on the Māori roll or general roll will determine the number of Māori and general electorates.

“He nui ngā ahuatanga o tēnei na te kōwhiringa Māori e whakaritea ana ngā nama mō te whare paremata. I te taunga mai o aua kōrero nā tatauranga Aotearoa ka whakritea e hia ngā tūru, kei whea ngā rohe hoki engari ka taea te piki ka taea te heke.”

As of January 2018, of the 478, 944 electors of Māori descent enrolled to vote but only 53% were on the Māori roll while 47% were on the general roll.

An increase in registrations on the Māori Roll could potentially create an eighth Māori seat. The campaign will run from the April 3 to August 2.

For more information about enrolling to vote, visit http://www.elections.org.nz

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